Transcriptome analysis of the epidermis of the purple quail-like q-lp mutant of silkworm, Bombyx moriReport as inadecuate

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A new purple quail-like q-lp mutant found from the plain silkworm strain 932VR has pigment dots on the epidermis similar to the pigment mutant quail q. In addition, q-lp mutant larvae are inactive, consume little and grow slowly, with a high death rate and other developmental abnormalities. Pigmentation of the silkworm epidermis consists of melanin, ommochrome and pteridine. Silkworm development is regulated by ecdysone and juvenile hormone. In this study, we performed RNA-Seq on the epidermis of the q-lp mutant in the 4th instar during molting, with 932VR serving as the control. The results showed 515 differentially expressed genes, of which 234 were upregulated and 281 downregulated in q-lp. BLASTGO analysis indicated that the downregulated genes mainly encode protein-binding proteins, membrane components, oxidation-reduction enzymes, and proteolytic enzymes, whereas the upregulated genes largely encode cuticle structural constituents, membrane components, transport related proteins, and protein-binding proteins. Quantitative reverse transcription PCR was used to verify the accuracy of the RNA-Seq data, focusing on key genes for biosynthesis of the three pigments and chitin as well as genes encoding cuticular proteins and several related nuclear receptors, which are thought to play key roles in the q-lp mutant. We drew three conclusions based on the results: 1 melanin, ommochrome and pteridine pigments are all increased in the q-lp mutant; 2 more cuticle proteins are expressed in q-lp than in 932VR, and the number of upregulated cuticular genes is significantly greater than downregulated genes; 3 the downstream pathway regulated by ecdysone is blocked in the q-lp mutant. Our research findings lay the foundation for further research on the developmental changes responsible for the q-lp mutant.

Author: Pingyang Wang , Zhiyong Qiu , Dingguo Xia , Shunming Tang , Xingjia Shen , Qiaoling Zhao



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