Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Identification of serine protease, serine protease homolog and prophenoloxidase genes in Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).

Abstract

In insects, proteolytic cascades medicated by serine proteases (SPs), serine protease homologs (SPHs) and prophenoloxidases (PPOs) control several physiological processes, notably the innate immunity. However, no attempts have been made to identify and characterize these genes in Spodoptera frugiperda, one of the most destructive agricultural pests. In this study, 83 SPs, 26 SPHs and four PPOs were respectively identified in S. frugiperda genome based on homology blast against those of other insects. We then analyzed the domain organization of these proteins and assigned them into different groups by phylogenetic reconstruction. Furthermore, the mRNA levels of clip-domain SPs/SPHs (cSPs/cSPHs) and PPOs were quantified in response to a mixed infection of Micrococcus luteus and Escherichia coli, and obvious accumulations were recorded in immune tissues, including hemocytes and fat body. In the latter study, we profiled the expression patterns of highly expressed cSPs and PPOs in different developmental stages, including egg, larva, pupa, female and male adults. It was shown that most cSPs were abundantly expressed in adults, while PPOs were detected at high levels in both egg and larval stages. These current findings substantially add to our understanding of the roles of S. frugiperda SPs, SPHs and PPOs in immune regulation and further lay a solid foundation for uncovering the interaction mechanisms between insects and pathogens.