In firefly light organs, reflector layer is a specialized tissue which is believed to play a key role for increasing the bioluminescence intensity through reflection. However, the nature of this unique tissue remains elusive. In this report, we investigated the role, fine structure and nature of the reflector layer in the light organ of adult Luciola cerata.
Our results indicated that the reflector layer is capable of reflecting bioluminescence, and contains abundant uric acid. Electron microscopy (EM) demonstrated that the cytosol of the reflector layer's cells is filled with densely packed spherical granules, which should be the uric acid granules. These granules are highly regular in size (∼700 nm in diameter), and exhibit a radial internal structure. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses revealed that an intense single peak pattern with a d-spacing value of 0.320 nm is specifically detected in the light organ, and is highly similar to the diffraction peak pattern and d-spacing value of needle-formed crystals of monosodium urate monohydrate. However, the molar ratio evaluation of uric acid to various cations (K+, Na+, Ca2+ and Mg2+) in the light organ deduced that only a few uric acid molecules were in the form of urate salts. Thus, non-salt uric acid should be the source of the diffraction signal detected in the light organ.
In the light organ, the intense single peak diffraction signal might come from a unique needle-like uric acid form, which is different from other known structures of non-salt uric acid form. The finding of a radial structure in the granules of reflector layer implies that the spherical uric acid granules might be formed by the radial arrangement of needle-formed packing matter.
In Drosophila melanogaster the doublesex (dsx) and fruitless (fru) regulatory genes act at the bottom of the somatic sex determination pathway. Both are regulated via alternative splicing by an upstream female-specific TRA/TRA-2 complex, recognizing a common cis element. dsx controls somatic sexual differentiation of non-neural as well as of neural tissues. fru, on the other hand, expresses male-specific functions only in neural system where it is required to built the neural circuits underlying proper courtship behaviour. In the mosquito Aedes aegypti sex determination is different from Drosophila. The key male determiner M, which is located on one of a pair of homomorphic sex chromosomes, controls sex-specific splicing of the mosquito dsx orthologue. In this study we report the genomic organization and expression of the fru homologue in Ae. aegypti (Aeafru). We found that it is sex-specifically spliced suggesting that it is also under the control of the sex determination pathway. Comparative analyses between the Aeafru and Anopheles gambiae fru (Angfru) genomic loci revealed partial conservation of exon organization and extensive divergence of intron lengths. We find that Aeadsx and Aeafru share novel cis splicing regulatory elements conserved in the alternatively spliced regions. We propose that in Aedes aegypti sex-specific splicing of dsx and fru is most likely under the control of splicing regulatory factors which are different from TRA and TRA-2 found in other dipteran insects and discuss the potential use of fru and dsx for developing new genetic strategies in vector control.
Blowflies are economic pests of the wool industry and potential vectors for epidemics. The establishment of a pesticide-free, environmentally friendly blowfly control strategy is necessary. Blowflies must feed on meat in order to initiate the cascade of events that are involved in reproduction including juvenile hormone synthesis, vitellogenesis, and mating. During feeding blowflies regurgitate salivary lipase, which may play a role in releasing fatty acids from triglycerides that are found in food. However, long-chain fatty acids show low solubility in aqueous solutions. In order to solubilize and ingest the released hydrophobic fatty acids, the blowflies must use a solubilizer.
We applied native PAGE, Edman degradation, cDNA cloning, and RT-PCR to characterize a protein that accumulated in the oral disk of the black blowfly, Phormia regina. In situ hybridization was carried out to localize the expression at the cellular level. A fluorescence competitive binding assay was used to identify potential ligands of this protein.
A protein newly identified from P. regina (PregOBP56a) belonged to the classic odorant-binding protein (OBP) family. This gene was expressed in a cluster of cells that was localized between pseudotracheae on the oral disk, which are not accessory cells of the taste peg chemosensory sensilla that normally synthesize OBPs. At pH 7 and pH 6, PregOBP56a bound palmitic, stearic, oleic, and linoleic acids, that are mainly found in chicken meat. The binding affinity of PregOBP56a decreased at pH 5. We propose that PregOBP56a is a protein that solubilizes fatty acids during feeding and subsequently helps to deliver the fatty acids to the midgut where it may help in the process of reproduction. As such, PregOBP56a is a potential molecular target for controlling the blowfly.
In recent years, bed bug (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) problems have increased dramatically in many parts of the world, leading to a renewed interest in their chemical ecology. Most studies of bed bug semiochemicals have been based on the collection of volatiles over a period of time followed by chemical analysis. Here we present for the first time, a combination of proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry and video analysis for real-time measurement of semiochemicals emitted by isolated groups of bed bugs during specific behavioural activities. The most distinct peaks in the proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry recordings were always observed close to the termination of mating attempts, corresponding to the defensive emissions that bed bugs have been suspected to exploit for prevention of unwanted copulations. The main components of these emissions were (E)-2-hexenal and (E)-2-octenal recorded in ratios between 1∶3 and 3∶1. In the current study, the quantity varied over 1000 fold for both of the compounds with up to 40 µg total release in a single emission. Males also emit defensive compounds due to homosexual copulation attempts by other males, and no significant differences were observed in the ratio or the amount of the two components released from males or females. In summary, this study has demonstrated that combining proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometry with video analysis can provide detailed information about semiochemicals emitted during specific behavioural activities.
Evolution of anthropophilic hematophagy in insects resulted in the coordination of various physiological processes for survival. In female mosquitoes, a large blood meal provides proteins for egg production and as a trade-off, rapid elimination of the excess water and solutes (Na+, Cl−) is critical for maintaining homeostasis and removing excess weight to resume flight and avoid predation. This post-prandial excretion is achieved by the concerted action of multiple hormones. Diuresis and natriuresis elicited by the calcitonin-like diuretic hormone 31 (DH31) are believed to be mediated by a yet uncharacterized calcitonin receptor (GPRCAL) in the mosquito Malpighian tubules (MTs), the renal organs. To contribute knowledge on endocrinology of mosquito diuresis we cloned GPRCAL1 from MT cDNA. This receptor is the ortholog of the DH31 receptor from Drosophila melanogaster that is expressed in principal cells of the fruit fly MT. Immunofluorescence similarly showed AaegGPRCAL1 is present in MT principal cells in A. aegypti, however, exhibiting an overall gradient-like pattern along the tubule novel for a GPCR in insects. Variegated, cell-specific receptor expression revealed a subpopulation of otherwise phenotypically similar principal cells. To investigate the receptor contribution to fluid elimination, RNAi was followed by urine measurement assays. In vitro, MTs from females that underwent AaegGPRcal1 knock-down exhibited up to 57% decrease in the rate of fluid secretion in response to DH31. Live females treated with AaegGPRcal1 dsRNA exhibited 30% reduction in fluid excreted after a blood meal. The RNAi-induced phenotype demonstrates the critical contribution of this single secretin-like family B GPCR to fluid excretion in invertebrates and highlights its relevance for the blood feeding adaptation. Our results with the mosquito AaegGPRCAL1 imply that the regulatory function of calcitonin-like receptors for ion and fluid transport in renal organs arose early in evolution.
Avian malaria is an important cause of the decline of endemic Hawaiian honeycreepers. Because of the complexity of this disease system we used a computer model of avian malaria in forest birds to evaluate how two proposed conservation strategies: 1) reduction of habitat for mosquito larvae and 2) establishment of a low-elevation, malaria-tolerant honeycreeper (Hawaii Amakihi) to mid-elevation forests would affect native Hawaiian honeycreeper populations. We evaluated these approaches in mid-elevation forests, where malaria transmission is seasonal and control strategies are more likely to work. Our model suggests the potential benefit of larval habitat reduction depends on the level of malaria transmission, abundance of larval cavities, and the ability to substantially reduce these cavities. Permanent reduction in larval habitat of >80% may be needed to control abundance of infectious mosquitoes and benefit bird populations. Establishment of malaria-tolerant Amakihi in mid-elevation forests increases Amakihi abundance, creates a larger disease reservoir, and increases the abundance of infectious mosquitoes which may negatively impact other honeycreepers. For mid-elevation sites where bird populations are severely affected by avian malaria, malaria-tolerant Amakihi had little impact on other honeycreepers. Both management strategies may benefit native Hawaiian honeycreepers, but benefits depend on specific forest characteristics, the amount of reduction in larval habitat that can be achieved, and how malaria transmission is affected by temperature.
The rice leaf folder (RLF), Cnaphalocrocis medinalis (Guenee) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), is one of the most destructive pests affecting rice in Asia. Although several studies have been performed on the ecological and physiological aspects of this species, the molecular mechanisms underlying its developmental regulation, behavior, and insecticide resistance remain largely unknown. Presently, there is a lack of genomic information for RLF; therefore, studies aimed at profiling the RLF transcriptome expression would provide a better understanding of its biological function at the molecular level.
De novo assembly of the RLF transcriptome was performed via the short read sequencing technology (Illumina). In a single run, we produced more than 23 million sequencing reads that were assembled into 44,941 unigenes (mean size = 474 bp) by Trinity. Through a similarity search, 25,281 (56.82%) unigenes matched known proteins in the NCBI Nr protein database. The transcriptome sequences were annotated with gene ontology (GO), cluster of orthologous groups of proteins (COG), and KEGG orthology (KO). Additionally, we profiled gene expression during RLF development using a tag-based digital gene expression (DGE) system. Five DGE libraries were constructed, and variations in gene expression were compared between collected samples: eggs vs. 3rd instar larvae, 3rd instar larvae vs. pupae, pupae vs. adults. The results demonstrated that thousands of genes were significantly differentially expressed during various developmental stages. A number of the differentially expressed genes were confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR).
The RLF transcriptome and DGE data provide a comprehensive and global gene expression profile that would further promote our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying various biological characteristics, including development, elevated fecundity, flight, sex differentiation, olfactory behavior, and insecticide resistance in RLF. Therefore, these findings could help elucidate the intrinsic factors involved in the RLF-mediated destruction of rice and offer sustainable insect pest management.
Knowing the underlying mechanisms of mosquito ecology will ensure effective vector management and contribute to the overall goal of malaria control. Mosquito populations show a high degree of population plasticity in response to environmental variability. However, the principle factors controlling population size and fecundity are for the most part unknown. Larval habitat and diet play a crucial role in subsequent mosquito fitness. Developing the most competitive insects for sterile insect technique programmes requires a “production” orientated perspective, to deduce the most effective larval diet formulation; the information gained from this process offers us some insight into the mechanisms and processes taking place in natural native mosquito habitats.
Fatty acid profiles and de-novo or direct assimilation pathways, of whole-individual mosquitoes reared on a range of larval diets were determined using pyrolysis gas chromatograph/mass spectrometry. We used elemental analysis and isotope ratio mass spectrometry to measure individual-whole-body carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous values and to assess the impact of dietary quality on subsequent population stoichiometry, size, quality and isotopic signature. Diet had the greatest impact on fatty acid (FA) profiles of the mosquitoes, which exhibited a high degree of dietary routing, characteristic of generalist feeders. De-novo synthesis of a number of important FAs was observed. Mosquito C:N stoichiometry was fixed in the teneral stage. Dietary N content had significant influence on mosquito size, and P was shown to be a flexible pool which limited overall population size.
Direct routing of FAs was evident but there was ubiquitous de-novo synthesis suggesting mosquito larvae are competent generalist feeders capable of survival on diet with varying characteristics. It was concluded that nitrogen availability in the larval diet controlled teneral mosquito size and that teneral CN ratio is a sex- and species-specific fixed parameter. This finding has significant implications for overall mosquito competitiveness and environmental management.
Expression of sterol carrier protein-2 (SCP-2) in Aedes aegypti shows a distinct temporal/spatial pattern throughout the life cycle. In order to identify the transcription factors responsible for the larval temporal/spatial regulation of AeSCP-2 transcription, AeSCP-2 promoter activities were studied in vivo via transient transfection of promoter/reporter gene assays. Regulatory sequences upstream −1.3 kb of the transcription start site of AeSCP-2 were found to be critical for the in vivo temporal/spatial promoter activity. Interestingly, the −1.6 kb promoter sequence efficiently drove the larval midgut-specific siRNA expression, indicating that the −1.6 kb upstream sequence is sufficient for temporal/spatial AeSCP-2 transcriptional activity. Four transcription factors were identified in the midgut nuclear extract from feeding larvae via labeled −1.6/−1.3 kb DNA probe pull-down and proteomic analysis. Co-transfection of the promoter/reporter gene with inducible siRNA expression of each transcription factor was performed to confirm the regulatory function of individual transcription factor on AeSCP-2 transcriptional activities in the larval midgut. The results indicate that two of the identified transcription factors, Thanatos-associated protein (THAP) and activating transcription factor-2 (ATF-2), antagonistically control AeSCP-2 transcriptional activity in the midgut of feeding larvae via the regulatory sequences between −1.6 to −1.3 kb 5′ upstream of the transcription start site. In vivo expression knockdown of THAP and ATF-2 resulted in significant changes in developmental progression, which may be partially due to their effects on AeSCP-2 expression.
Natural insecticides against the vector mosquito Aedes aegypti have been the object of research due to their high level of eco-safety. The water-soluble Moringa oleifera lectin (WSMoL) is a larvicidal agent against A. aegypti. This work reports the effects of WSMoL on oviposition and egg hatching of A. aegypti.
WSMoL crude preparations (seed extract and 0–60 protein fraction), at 0.1 mg/mL protein concentration, did not affect oviposition, while A. aegypti gravid females laid their eggs preferentially (73%) in vessels containing isolated WSMoL (0.1 mg/mL), compared with vessels containing only distilled water (control). Volatile compounds were not detected in WSMoL preparation. The hatchability of fresh eggs deposited in the solutions in the oviposition assay was evaluated. The numbers of hatched larvae in seed extract, 0–60 protein fraction and WSMoL were 45±8.7 %, 20±11 % and 55±7.5 %, respectively, significantly (p<0.05) lower than in controls containing only distilled water (75–95%). Embryos were visualized inside fresh control eggs, but not within eggs that were laid and maintained in WSMoL solution. Ovicidal activity was also assessed using stored A. aegypti eggs. The protein concentrations able to reduce the hatching rate by 50% (EC50) were 0.32, 0.16 and 0.1 mg/mL for seed extract, 0–60 protein fraction and WSMoL, respectively. The absence of hatching of stored eggs treated with WSMoL at 0.3 mg/mL (EC99) after transfer to medium without lectin indicates that embryos within the eggs were killed by WSMoL. The reduction in hatching rate of A. aegypti was not linked to decrease in bacteria population.
WSMoL acted both as a chemical stimulant cue for ovipositing females and ovicidal agent at a given concentration. The oviposition-stimulant and ovicidal activities, combined with the previously reported larvicidal activity, make WSMoL a very interesting candidate in integrated A. aegypti control.
The MEAM1 (B biotype) Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) is one of the most widespread and damaging whitefly cryptic species. Our previous studies discovered that the MEAM1 whitefly indirectly benefits from interactions with the tomato yellow leaf curl China virus (TYLCCNV) via accelerated ovarian development and increased fecundity. However, the physiological mechanism of begomoviruse-infected plants acting on the reproduction of the insect vector was unknown.
Biochemical and molecular properties of vitellogenin (Vg) and vitellin (Vt) were characterized in the MEAM1 whitefly. In addition, kinetics of Vt levels in ovary and Vg levels in hemolymph in different stages were detected using a sandwich ELISA. The level of hemolymph Vg increased rapidly after eclosion. A significantly higher level of hemolymph Vg and ovary Vt were observed in whiteflies feeding on virus-infected tobacco plants than those feeding on uninfected plants. In order to detect the levels of Vg mRNA transcription, complete vitellogenin (Vg) mRNA transcripts of 6474 bp were sequenced. Vg mRNA level in whiteflies feeding on virus-infected plants was higher than those feeding on uninfected plants. However, virus-infection of the whiteflies per se, as demonstrated using an artificial diet system, did not produce significant changes in Vg mRNA level.
In MEAM1 whitefly, increased levels of both vitellin and vitellogenin as well as increased transcription of Vg mRNA are associated with feeding on begomovirus-infected plants, thus providing a mechanism for accelerated vitellogenesis. We conclude that MEAM1 whitefly profits from feeding on begomovirus-infected plants for yolk protein synthesis and uptake, and thereby increases its fecundity. These results not only provide insights into the molecular and physiological mechanisms underlying the elevated reproduction of a whitefly species through its association with a begomovirus-infected plant, but also provide a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms related to whitefly reproduction.
The low survival of microbial pest control agents exposed to UV is the major environmental factor limiting their effectiveness. Using gene disruption we demonstrated that the insect pathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii uses photolyases to remove UV-induced cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD) and pyrimidine (6-4) photoproducts [(6-4)PPs] from its DNA. However, this photorepair is insufficient to fix CPD lesions and prevent the loss of viability caused by seven hours of solar radiation. Expression of a highly efficient archaeal (Halobacterium salinarum) CPD photolyase increased photorepair >30-fold in both M. robertsii and Beauveria bassiana. Consequently, transgenic strains were much more resistant to sunlight and retained virulence against the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. In the field this will translate into much more efficient pest control over a longer time period. Conversely, our data shows that deleting native photolyase genes will strictly contain M. robertsii to areas protected from sunlight, alleviating safety concerns that transgenic hypervirulent Metarhizium spp will spread from mosquito traps or houses. The precision and malleability of the native and transgenic photolyases allows design of multiple pathogens with different strategies based on the environments in which they will be used.
The use of vector surveillance tools for preventing dengue disease requires fine assessment of risk, in order to improve vector control activities. Nevertheless, the thresholds between vector detection and dengue fever occurrence are currently not well established. In Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais, Brazil), dengue has been endemic for several years. From January 2007 to June 2008, the dengue vector Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti was monitored by ovitrap, the sticky-trap MosquiTRAP™ and larval surveys in an study area in Belo Horizonte. Using a space-time scan for clusters detection implemented in SaTScan software, the vector presence recorded by the different monitoring methods was evaluated. Clusters of vectors and dengue fever were detected. It was verified that ovitrap and MosquiTRAP vector detection methods predicted dengue occurrence better than larval survey, both spatially and temporally. MosquiTRAP and ovitrap presented similar results of space-time intersections to dengue fever clusters. Nevertheless ovitrap clusters presented longer duration periods than MosquiTRAP ones, less acuratelly signalizing the dengue risk areas, since the detection of vector clusters during most of the study period was not necessarily correlated to dengue fever occurrence. It was verified that ovitrap clusters occurred more than 200 days (values ranged from 97.0±35.35 to 283.0±168.4 days) before dengue fever clusters, whereas MosquiTRAP clusters preceded dengue fever clusters by approximately 80 days (values ranged from 65.5±58.7 to 94.0±14. 3 days), the former showing to be more temporally precise. Thus, in the present cluster analysis study MosquiTRAP presented superior results for signaling dengue transmission risks both geographically and temporally. Since early detection is crucial for planning and deploying effective preventions, MosquiTRAP showed to be a reliable tool and this method provides groundwork for the development of even more precise tools.
In insects, odorant receptors detect volatile cues involved in behaviours such as mate recognition, food location and oviposition. We have investigated the evolution of three odorant receptors from five species within the moth genera Ctenopseustis and Planotrotrix, family Tortricidae, which fall into distinct clades within the odorant receptor multigene family. One receptor is the orthologue of the co-receptor Or83b, now known as Orco (OR2), and encodes the obligate ion channel subunit of the receptor complex. In comparison, the other two receptors, OR1 and OR3, are ligand-binding receptor subunits, activated by volatile compounds produced by plants - methyl salicylate and citral, respectively. Rates of sequence evolution at non-synonymous sites were significantly higher in OR1 compared with OR2 and OR3. Within the dataset OR1 contains 109 variable amino acid positions that are distributed evenly across the entire protein including transmembrane helices, loop regions and termini, while OR2 and OR3 contain 18 and 16 variable sites, respectively. OR2 shows a high level of amino acid conservation as expected due to its essential role in odour detection; however we found unexpected differences in the rate of evolution between two ligand-binding odorant receptors, OR1 and OR3. OR3 shows high sequence conservation suggestive of a conserved role in odour reception, whereas the higher rate of evolution observed in OR1, particularly at non-synonymous sites, may be suggestive of relaxed constraint, perhaps associated with the loss of an ancestral role in sex pheromone reception.
In the midgut of the mosquito Aedes aegypti, a vector of dengue and yellow fever, an intense release of heme and iron takes place during the digestion of a blood meal. Here, we demonstrated via chromatography, light absorption and mass spectrometry that xanthurenic acid (XA), a product of the oxidative metabolism of tryptophan, is produced in the digestive apparatus after the ingestion of a blood meal and reaches milimolar levels after 24 h, the period of maximal digestive activity. XA formation does not occur in the White Eye (WE) strain, which lacks kynurenine hydroxylase and accumulates kynurenic acid. The formation of XA can be diminished by feeding the insect with 3,4-dimethoxy-N-[4-(3-nitrophenyl)thiazol-2-yl] benzenesulfonamide (Ro-61-8048), an inhibitor of XA biosynthesis. Moreover, XA inhibits the phospholipid oxidation induced by heme or iron. A major fraction of this antioxidant activity is due to the capacity of XA to bind both heme and iron, which occurs at a slightly alkaline pH (7.5-8.0), a condition found in the insect midgut. The midgut epithelial cells of the WE mosquito has a marked increase in occurrence of cell death, which is reversed to levels similar to the wild type mosquitoes by feeding the insects with blood supplemented with XA, confirming the protective role of this molecule. Collectively, these results suggest a new role for XA as a heme and iron chelator that provides protection as an antioxidant and may help these animals adapt to a blood feeding habit.
Aquaporins (AQPs) are membrane channels that conduct water and small solutes such as glycerol and are involved in many physiological functions. Aquaporin-based modulator drugs are predicted to be of broad potential utility in the treatment of several diseases. Until today few AQP inhibitors have been described as suitable candidates for clinical development. Here we report on the potent inhibition of AQP3 channels by gold(III) complexes screened on human red blood cells (hRBC) and AQP3-transfected PC12 cells by a stopped-flow method. Among the various metal compounds tested, Auphen is the most active on AQP3 (IC50 = 0.8±0.08 µM in hRBC). Interestingly, the compound poorly affects the water permeability of AQP1. The mechanism of gold inhibition is related to the ability of Au(III) to interact with sulphydryls groups of proteins such as the thiolates of cysteine residues. Additional DFT and modeling studies on possible gold compound/AQP adducts provide a tentative description of the system at a molecular level. The mapping of the periplasmic surface of an homology model of human AQP3 evidenced the thiol group of Cys40 as a likely candidate for binding to gold(III) complexes. Moreover, the investigation of non-covalent binding of Au complexes by docking approaches revealed their preferential binding to AQP3 with respect to AQP1. The high selectivity and low concentration dependent inhibitory effect of Auphen (in the nanomolar range) together with its high water solubility makes the compound a suitable drug lead for future in vivo studies. These results may present novel metal-based scaffolds for AQP drug development.
Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Complex 1 (mTORC1) is activated by growth factor-regulated phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/Rheb signalling and extracellular amino acids (AAs) to promote growth and proliferation. These AAs induce translocation of mTOR to late endosomes and lysosomes (LELs), subsequent activation via mechanisms involving the presence of intralumenal AAs, and interaction between mTORC1 and a multiprotein assembly containing Rag GTPases and the heterotrimeric Ragulator complex. However, the mechanisms by which AAs control these different aspects of mTORC1 activation are not well understood. We have recently shown that intracellular Proton-assisted Amino acid Transporter 1 (PAT1)/SLC36A1 is an essential mediator of AA-dependent mTORC1 activation. Here we demonstrate in Human Embryonic Kidney (HEK-293) cells that PAT1 is primarily located on LELs, physically interacts with the Rag GTPases and is required for normal AA-dependent mTOR relocalisation. We also use the powerful in vivo genetic methodologies available in Drosophila to investigate the regulation of the PAT1/Rag/Ragulator complex. We show that GFP-tagged PATs reside at both the cell surface and LELs in vivo, mirroring PAT1 distribution in several normal mammalian cell types. Elevated PI3K/Akt/Rheb signalling increases intracellular levels of PATs and synergistically enhances PAT-induced growth via a mechanism requiring endocytosis. In light of the recent identification of the vacuolar H+-ATPase as another Rag-interacting component, we propose a model in which PATs function as part of an AA-sensing engine that drives mTORC1 activation from LEL compartments.
Tissue culture is performed to maintain isolated portions of multicellular organisms in an artificial milieu that is outside the individual organism and for considerable periods of time; cells derived from cultured explants are, in general, different from cells of the corresponding tissue in a living organism. The changes in cultured tissues that precede and often explain the subsequent cell proliferation of explant-derived cells have been partially studied, but little is known about the molecular and genomic basis of these changes. Comparative transcriptomics of intact and cultured (90 hours in MGM-450 insect medium) Bombyx mori tissues revealed that fewer genes represented a larger portion of the transcriptome of intact fat body tissues than of cultured fat body tissues. This analysis also indicated that expression of genes encoding sugar transporters and immune response proteins increased during culture and that expression of genes encoding lipoproteins and cuticle proteins decreased during culture. These results provide support for hypotheses that cultured tissues respond immunologically to surgery, adapt to the medium by accelerating sugar uptake, and terminate their identity as part of an intact organism by becoming independent of that organism.
Culicoides oxystoma (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) is an important vector species, reported mainly from Asia, with high potential to transmit viral diseases affecting livestock. In Japan, many arboviruses have been isolated from C. oxystoma, suggesting it as a key player in the epidemiology of several Culicoides-borne diseases. Over the years, C. oxystoma has also been reported in the Middle East region, including Israel. In this region, however, C. oxystoma cannot be easily distinguished morphologically from its sibling species included in the Culicoides schultzei complex. We therefore used genomic data for species identification and phylogeny resolution. Phylogenetic analyses based on internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS-1) of ribosomal DNA and the mitochondrial gene encoding cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) showed that C. oxystoma from Israel is closely related to C. oxystoma from Japan. Using differential probing PCR, we showed that C. oxystoma is distributed all over the country, especially in Mediterranean climate regions. Culicoides oxystoma is less common or even absent in arid regions, while the other genetic cluster of C. schultzei complex was found only in the east of the country (mostly arid and semiarid regions). The molecular finding of C. oxystoma in wide geographical regions, together with its high proportion in the general Culicoides population and its vectoring potential, imply that it may be an important vector species in the Middle East.
Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) is one of the oldest and most important perennial crops being considered as a fruit ligneous tree model system in which the water status appears crucial for high fruit and wine quality, controlling productivity and alcohol level. V. vinifera genome contains 28 genes coding for aquaporins, which acting in a concerted and regulated manner appear relevant for plant withstanding extremely unfavorable drought conditions essential for the quality of berries and wine. Several Vv aquaporins have been reported to be expressed in roots, shoots, berries and leaves with clear cultivar differences in their expression level, making their in vivo biochemical characterization a difficult task. In this work V. vinifera cv. Touriga nacional VvTnPIP1;1, VvTnPIP2;2 and VvTnTIP2;1 were expressed in yeast and water transport activity was characterized in intact cells of the transformants. The three aquaporins were localized in the yeast plasma membrane but only VvTnTIP2;1 expression enhanced the water permeability with a concomitant decrease of the activation energy of water transport. Acidification of yeast cytosol resulted in loss of VvTnTIP2;1 activity. Sequence analysis revealed the presence of a His131 residue, unusual in TIPs. By site directed mutagenesis, replacement of this residue by aspartic acid or alanine resulted in loss of pHin dependence while replacement by lysine resulted in total loss of activity. In addition to characterization of VvTn aquaporins, these results shed light on the gating of a specific tonoplast aquaporin by cytosolic pH.
Dengue is an important mosquito borne viral disease in Martinique Island (French West Indies). The viruses responsible for dengue are transmitted by Aedes aegypti, an indoor day-biting mosquito. The most effective proven method for disease prevention has been by vector control by various chemical or biological means. Unfortunately insecticide resistance has already been observed on the Island and recently showed to significantly reduce the efficacy of vector control interventions. In this study, we investigated the distribution of resistance and the underlying mechanisms in nine Ae. aegypti populations. Statistical multifactorial approach was used to investigate the correlations between insecticide resistance levels, associated mechanisms and environmental factors characterizing the mosquito populations. Bioassays revealed high levels of resistance to temephos and deltamethrin and susceptibility to Bti in the 9 populations tested. Biochemical assays showed elevated detoxification enzyme activities of monooxygenases, carboxylesterases and glutathione S-tranferases in most of the populations. Molecular screening for common insecticide target-site mutations, revealed the presence of the “knock-down resistance” V1016I Kdr mutation at high frequency (>87%). Real time quantitative RT-PCR showed the potential involvement of several candidate detoxification genes in insecticide resistance. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) performed with variables characterizing Ae. aegypti from Martinique permitted to underline potential links existing between resistance distribution and other variables such as agriculture practices, vector control interventions and urbanization. Insecticide resistance is widespread but not homogeneously distributed across Martinique. The influence of environmental and operational factors on the evolution of the resistance and mechanisms are discussed.
In most insect species, a variety of serine protease inhibitors (SPIs) have been found in multiple tissues, including integument, gonad, salivary gland, and hemolymph, and are required for preventing unwanted proteolysis. These SPIs belong to different families and have distinct inhibitory mechanisms. Herein, we predicted and characterized potential SPI genes based on the genome sequences of silkworm, Bombyx mori. As a result, a total of eighty SPI genes were identified in B. mori. These SPI genes contain 10 kinds of SPI domains, including serpin, Kunitz_BPTI, Kazal, TIL, amfpi, Bowman-Birk, Antistasin, WAP, Pacifastin, and alpha-macroglobulin. Sixty-three SPIs contain single SPI domain while the others have at least two inhibitor units. Some SPIs also contain non-inhibitor domains for protein-protein interactions, including EGF, ADAM_spacer, spondin_N, reeler, TSP_1 and other modules. Microarray analysis showed that fourteen SPI genes from lineage-specific TIL family and Group F of serpin family had enriched expression in the silk gland. The roles of SPIs in resisting pathogens were investigated in silkworms when they were infected by four pathogens. Microarray and qRT-PCR experiments revealed obvious up-regulation of 8, 4, 3 and 3 SPI genes after infection with Escherichia coli, Bacillus bombysepticus, Beauveria bassiana or B. mori nuclear polyhedrosis virus (BmNPV), respectively. On the contrary, 4, 11, 7 and 9 SPI genes were down-regulated after infection with E. coli, B. bombysepticus, B. bassiana or BmNPV, respectively. These results suggested that these SPI genes may be involved in resistance to pathogenic microorganisms. These findings may provide valuable information for further clarifying the roles of SPIs in the development, immune defence, and efficient synthesis of silk gland protein.
Here we report a study of the 204 P450 genes in the whole genome sequence of larvae and adult Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes. The expression profiles of the P450 genes were compared for susceptible (S-Lab) and resistant mosquito populations, two different field populations of mosquitoes (HAmCq and MAmCq), and field parental mosquitoes (HAmCq G0 and MAmCqG0) and their permethrin selected offspring (HAmCq G8 and MAmCqG6). While the majority of the P450 genes were expressed at a similar level between the field parental strains and their permethrin selected offspring, an up- or down-regulation feature in the P450 gene expression was observed following permethrin selection. Compared to their parental strains and the susceptible S-Lab strain, HAmCqG8 and MAmCqG6 were found to up-regulate 11 and 6% of total P450 genes in larvae and 7 and 4% in adults, respectively, while 5 and 11% were down-regulated in larvae and 4 and 2% in adults. Although the majority of these up- and down-regulated P450 genes appeared to be developmentally controlled, a few were either up- or down-regulated in both the larvae and adult stages. Interestingly, a different gene set was found to be up- or down-regulated in the HAmCqG8 and MAmCqG6 mosquito populations in response to insecticide selection. Several genes were identified as being up- or down-regulated in either the larvae or adults for both HAmCqG8 and MAmCqG6; of these, CYP6AA7 and CYP4C52v1 were up-regulated and CYP6BY3 was down-regulated across the life stages and populations of mosquitoes, suggesting a link with the permethrin selection in these mosquitoes. Taken together, the findings from this study indicate that not only are multiple P450 genes involved in insecticide resistance but up- or down-regulation of P450 genes may also be co-responsible for detoxification of insecticides, insecticide selection, and the homeostatic response of mosquitoes to changes in cellular environment.
The citrus red mite is a worldwide citrus pest and a common sensitizing allergen of asthma and rhinitis. It has developed strong resistance to many registered acaricides, However, the molecular mechanisms of resistance remain unknown. we therefore used next generation sequencing technology to investigate the global transcriptomes between resistant strains and susceptible strains.
We obtained 34,159, 30,466 and 32,217 unigenes by assembling the SS reads, RS reads and SS&RS reads respectively. There are total 17,581 annotated unigenes from SS&RS reads by BLAST searching databases of nr, the Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) with an E-value ≤ 1e-5, in which 7,075 unigenes were annotated in the COG database, 12, 712 unigenes were found in the KEGG database and 3,812 unigenes were assigned to Gene ontology (GO). Moreover, 2,701 unigenes were judged to be the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) based on the uniquely mapped reads. There are 219 pathways in all annotated unigenes and 198 pathways in DEGs that mapped to the KEGG database. We identified 211 metabolism genes and target genes related to general insecticide resistance such as P450 and Cytochrome b, and further compared their differences between RS and SS. Meanwhile, we identified 105 and 194 genes related to growth and reproduction, respectively, based on the mode of action of Hexythiazox. After further analyses, we found variation in sequences but not in gene expression related to mite growth and reproduction between different strains.
To our knowledge, this is the first comparative transcriptome study to discover candidate genes involved in phytophagous mite resistance. This study identified differential unigenes related to general pesticide resistance and organism growth and reproduction in P. citri. The assembled, annotated transcriptomes provide a valuable genomic resource for further understanding the molecular basis of resistance mechanisms.
The insecticide resistance status of the malaria vector Anopheles funestus and the underlying resistance mechanisms remain uncharacterised in many parts of Africa, notably in Benin, West Africa. To fill this gap in our knowledge, we assessed the susceptibility status of a population of this species in Pahou, Southern Benin and investigated the potential resistance mechanisms.
WHO bioassays revealed a multiple resistance profile for An. funestus in Pahou. This population is highly resistant to DDT with no mortality in females after 1h exposure to 4%DDT. Resistance was observed against the Type I pyrethroid permethrin and the carbamate bendiocarb. A moderate resistance was detected against deltamethrin (type II pyrethroids). A total susceptibility was observed against malathion, an organophosphate. Pre-exposure to PBO did not change the mortality rates for DDT indicating that cytochrome P450s play no role in DDT resistance in Pahou. No L1014F kdr mutation was detected but a correlation between haplotypes of two fragments of the Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel gene and resistance was observed suggesting that mutations in other exons may confer the knockdown resistance in this species. Biochemical assays revealed elevated levels of GSTs and cytochrome mono-oxygenases in Pahou. No G119S mutation and no altered acetylcholinesterase gene were detected in the Pahou population. qPCR analysis of five detoxification genes revealed that the GSTe2 is associated to the DDT resistance in this population with a significantly higher expression in DDT resistant samples. A significant over-expression of CYP6P9a and CYP6P9b previously associated with pyrethroid resistance was also seen but at a lower fold change than in southern Africa.
The multiple insecticide resistance profile of this An. funestus population in Benin shows that more attention should be paid to this important malaria vector for the implementation and management of current and future malaria vector control programs in this country.