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Molecular characterization, expression analysis and RNAi knock-down of elongation factor 1α and 1γ from Nilaparvata lugens and its yeast-like symbiont

  • W.X. Wang (a1), T.H. Zhu (a2), K.L. Li (a1), L.F. Chen (a1) (a2), F.X. Lai (a1) and Q. Fu (a1)...

Abstract

In the present paper, four cDNAs encoding the alpha and gamma subunits of elongation factor 1 (EF-1) were cloned and sequenced from Nilaparvata lugens, named NlEF-1α, NlEF-1γ, and its yeast-like symbiont (YLS), named YsEF-1α and YsEF-1γ, respectively. Comparisons with sequences from other species indicated a greater conservation for EF-1α than for EF-1γ. NlEF-1α has two identical copies. The deduced amino acid sequence homology of NlEF-1α and NlEF-1γ is 96 and 64%, respectively, compared with Homalodisca vitripennis and Locusta migratoria. The deduced amino acid sequence homology of YsEF-1α and YsEF-1γ is 96 and 74%, respectively, compared with Metarhizium anisopliae and Ophiocordyceps sinensis. Reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT–qPCR) analysis revealed that the expression level of NlEF-1α and NlEF-1γ mRNA in hemolymph, ovary, fat body and salivary glands were higher than the midgut and leg tissue. YsEF-1α and YsEF-1γ was highly expressed in fat body. The expression level of NlEF-1α was higher than that of NlEF-1γ. Through RNA interference (RNAi) of the two genes, the mortality of nymph reached 92.2% at the 11th day after treatment and the ovarian development was severely hindered. The RT–qPCR analysis verified the correlation between mortality, sterility and the down-regulation of the target genes. The expression and synthesis of vitellogenin (Vg) protein in insects injected with NlEF-1α and NlEF-1γ double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) was significantly lower than control groups. Attempts to knockdown the YsEF-1 genes in the YLS was unsuccessful. However, the phenotype of N. lugens injected with YsEF-1α dsRNA was the same as that injected with NlEF-1α dsRNA, possibly due to the high similarity (up to 71.9%) in the nucleotide sequences between NlEF-1α and YsEF-1α. We demonstrated that partial silencing of NlEF-1α and NlEF-1γ genes caused lethal and sterility effect on N. lugens. NlEF-1γ shares low identity with that of other insects and therefore it could be a potential target for RNAi-based pest management.

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*Author for correspondence Phone: Fax: +86-571-63370348 E-mail: fuqiang@caas.cn, laifengxiang@caas.cn

References

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