Tissue tropism related to vector competence of Frankliniella occidentalis for tomato spotted wilt tospovirus.
The development of tomato spotted wilt tospovirus (TSWV) infection in the midgut and salivary glands of transmitting and non-transmitting thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, was studied to elucidate tissue tropism and the virus pathway within the body of this vector. Immunohistological techniques used in this study showed that the midgut, foregut and salivary glands were the only organs in which virus accumulated. The first signals of infection, observed as randomly distributed fluorescent granular spots, were found in the epithelial cells of the midgut, mainly restricted to the anterior region. The virus subsequently spread to the circular and longitudinal midgut muscle tissues, a process which occurred late in the larval stage. In the adult stage, the infection occurred in the visceral muscle tissues, covering the whole midgut and foregut, and was abolished in the midgut epithelium. The infection of the salivary glands was first observed 72 h post-acquisition, and simultaneously in the ligaments connecting the midgut with these glands. The salivary glands of transmitting individuals appeared heavily or completely infected, while no or only a low level of infection was found in the glands of non-transmitting individuals. Moreover, the development of an age-dependent midgut barrier against virus infection was observed in second instar larvae and adults. The results show that the establishment of TSWV infection in the various tissues and the potential of transmission seems to be regulated by different barriers and processes related to the metamorphosis of thrips. (+info)
The relationship between DNA methylation and chromosome imprinting in the coccid Planococcus citri.
The phenomenon of chromosome, or genomic, imprinting indicates the relevance of parental origin in determining functional differences between alleles, homologous chromosomes, or haploid sets. In mealybug males (Homoptera, Coccoidea), the haploid set of paternal origin undergoes heterochromatization at midcleavage and remains so in most of the tissues. This different behavior of the two haploid sets, which depends on their parental origin, represents one of the most striking examples of chromosome imprinting. In mammals, DNA methylation has been postulated as a possible molecular mechanism to differentially imprint DNA sequences during spermatogenesis or oogenesis. In the present article we addressed the role of DNA methylation in the imprinting of whole haploid sets as it occurs in Coccids. We investigated the DNA methylation patterns at both the molecular and chromosomal level in the mealybug Planococcus citri. We found that in both males and females the paternally derived haploid set is hypomethylated with respect to the maternally derived one. Therefore, in males, it is the paternally derived hypomethylated haploid set that is heterochromatized. Our data suggest that the two haploid sets are imprinted by parent-of-origin-specific DNA methylation with no correlation with the known gene-silencing properties of this base modification. (+info)
Lettuce infectious yellows virus: in vitro acquisition analysis using partially purified virions and the whitefly Bemisia tabaci.
Virions of lettuce infectious yellows virus (LIYV; genus Crinivirus) were purified from LIYV-infected plants and their protein composition was analysed by SDS-PAGE and immunoblotting. Virion preparations contained the major capsid protein (CP), but the minor capsid protein (CPm), p59 and the HSP70 homologue were also identified by immunoblot analysis. Immunogold labelling analysis showed that CP constituted the majority of the LIYV virion capsid, but CPm was also part of the capsid and localized to one end of the virion, similar to the polar morphology seen for viruses in the genus Closterovirus. p59 and the HSP70 homologue were not detected on virions by immunogold labelling, but were always detected in virion preparations by immunoblot analysis. Purified LIYV virions were used for in vitro acquisition analysis with Bemisia tabaci whiteflies and were efficiently transmitted to plants. Infectivity neutralization analyses were done using antisera to the LIYV-encoded CP, CPm, p59 and HSP70 homologue. Only antiserum to the CPm effectively neutralized LIYV transmission by B. tabaci. These data suggest that the LIYV-B. tabaci transmission determinants are associated with purified virions, and that the LIYV virion structural protein CPm is involved in transmission by B. tobaci. (+info)
A staufen-like RNA-binding protein in translocation channels linking nurse cells to oocytes in Notonecta shows nucleotide-dependent attachment to microtubules.
In Drosophila melanogaster the staufen gene encodes an RNA-binding protein that is essential for the correct localization of certain nurse cell-derived transcripts in oocytes. Although the mechanism underlying mRNA localization is unknown, mRNA-staufen complexes have been shown to move in a microtubule-dependent manner, and it has been suggested that staufen associates with a motor protein which generates the movement. We have investigated this possibility using Notonecta glauca in which nurse cells also supply the oocytes with mRNA, but via greatly extended nutritive tubes comprised of large aggregates of parallel microtubules. Using a staufen peptide antibody and RNA probes we have identified a staufen-like protein, which specifically binds double-stranded RNA, in the nutritive tubes of Notonecta. We show that while the staufen-like protein does not co-purify with microtubules from ovaries using standard procedures it does so under conditions of motor-entrapment, specifically in the presence of AMP-PNP. We also show that the staufen-like protein is subsequently removed by ATP and GTP, but not ADP. Nucleotide-dependent binding to microtubules is typical of a motor-mediated interaction and the pattern of attachment and detachment of the staufen-like protein correlates with that of a kinesin protein within the ovaries. Our findings indicate that the staufen-like RNA-binding protein attaches to, and is transported along, Notonecta ovarian microtubules by a kinesin motor. (+info)
Tomographic 3D reconstruction of quick-frozen, Ca2+-activated contracting insect flight muscle.
Motor actions of myosin were directly visualized by electron tomography of insect flight muscle quick-frozen during contraction. In 3D images, active cross-bridges are usually single myosin heads, bound preferentially to actin target zones sited midway between troponins. Active attached bridges (approximately 30% of all heads) depart markedly in axial and azimuthal angles from Rayment's rigor acto-S1 model, one-third requiring motor domain (MD) tilting on actin, and two-thirds keeping rigor contact with actin while the light chain domain (LCD) tilts axially from approximately 105 degrees to approximately 70 degrees. The results suggest the MD tilts and slews on actin from weak to strong binding, followed by swinging of the LCD through an approximately 35 degrees axial angle, giving an approximately 13 nm interaction distance and an approximately 4-6 nm working stroke. (+info)
Ectopic gene expression and homeotic transformations in arthropods using recombinant Sindbis viruses.
BACKGROUND: The morphological diversity of arthropods makes them attractive subjects for studying the evolution of developmental mechanisms. Comparative analyses suggest that arthropod diversity has arisen largely as a result of changes in expression patterns of genes that control development. Direct analysis of how a particular gene functions in a given species during development is hindered by the lack of broadly applicable techniques for manipulating gene expression. RESULTS: We report that the Arbovirus Sindbis can be used to deliver high levels of gene expression in vivo in a number of non-host arthropod species without causing cytopathic effects in infected cells or impairing development. Using recombinant Sindbis virus, we investigated the function of the homeotic gene Ultrabithorax in the development of butterfly wings and beetle embryos. Ectopic Ultrabithorax expression in butterfly forewing imaginal discs was sufficient to cause the transformation of characteristic forewing properties in the adult, including scale morphology and pigmentation, to those of the hindwing. Expression of Ultrabithorax in beetle embryos outside of its endogenous expression domain affected normal development of the body wall cuticle and appendages. CONCLUSIONS: The homeotic genes have long been thought to play an important role in the diversification of arthropod appendages. Using recombinant Sindbis virus, we were able to investigate homeotic gene function in non-model arthropod species. We found that Ultrabithorax is sufficient to confer hindwing identity in butterflies and alter normal development of anterior structures in beetles. Recombinant Sindbis virus has broad potential as a tool for analyzing how the function of developmental genes has changed during the diversification of arthropods. (+info)
Odorant binding protein diversity and distribution among the insect orders, as indicated by LAP, an OBP-related protein of the true bug Lygus lineolaris (Hemiptera, Heteroptera).
Insect odorant binding proteins (OBPs) are thought to deliver odors to olfactory receptors, and thus may be the first biochemical step in odor reception capable of some level of odor discrimination. OBPs have been identified from numerous species of several insect orders, including Lepidoptera, Diptera, Coleoptera and Hymenoptera; all are holometabolous insects belonging to the monophyletic division of insects known as the Endopterygota. Recently, an antennal protein with OBP-like properties was identified from Lygus lineolaris, a hemipteran insect representing the Hemipteroid Assemblage, a sister division to the Endopterygota. The full length sequence of Lygus antennal protein (LAP) is presented in this report. In situ hybridization analysis revealed LAP expression in cell clusters associating with olfactory sensilla; expression was adult-specific, initiating in developing adult tissue during the transitional period that precedes the actual adult molt. Sequence analysis confirmed that LAP is homologous with the OBP-related protein family, and most similar to the OS-E and OS-F proteins of Drosophila, the ABPX proteins of Lepidoptera and the OBPRP proteins of the Coleoptera. Assuming that the OBP-related proteins represent one homologous family, the identification of LAP significantly expands the phylogenetic depth of that family and its underlying role in odor detection to encompass all members of the Endopterygota and Hemipteroid Assemblage, which comprise >90% of all insect species. (+info)
Haematophagy and cleptohaematophagy of clerada apicicornis (Hemiptera: lygaeidae), a potential biological control agent of rhodnius prolixus (Hemiptera: reduviidae).
Because of its ability to prey on Triatominae in rural houses, Clerada apicicornis has been suggested as a potential biological control agent of Rhodnius prolixus. It has also been suggested as a potential vector of mammalian trypanosomes such as Trypanosoma cruzi, because of its ability to take blood directly from mammals. To help resolve these conflicting ideas, we assessed the haematophagic behaviour of C. apicicornis by carrying out feeding trials on laboratory animals. Cleptohaematophagic behaviour was also assessed by allowing C. apicicornis to feed on R. prolixus previously engorged with avian blood. The low proportion of blood meals taken directly from laboratory animals indicates a facultative haematophagy in this species, whereas a greater proportion of nymphs and adults were able to obtain vertebrate blood by predation on engorged R. prolixus. The results suggest that C. apicicornis is unlikely to be effective as a biological control agent, but is also unlikely to have a significant role in the transmission of vertebrate pathogens. (+info)