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A phylogenomics approach to characterizing sensory neuron membrane proteins (SNMPs) in Lepidoptera

Zhang, H-J, Xu, W., Chen, Q-M, Sun, L-N, Anderson, A., Xia, Q-Y and Papanicolaou, A. (2020) A phylogenomics approach to characterizing sensory neuron membrane proteins (SNMPs) in Lepidoptera. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 118 . Art. 103313.

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Sensory neuron membrane proteins (SNMPs) play a critical role in the insect olfactory system but there is a deficit of functional studies beyond Drosophila. Here, we use a combination of available genome sequences, manual curation, genome and transcriptome data, phylogenetics, expression profiling and gene knockdown to investigate SNMP superfamily in various insect species with a focus on Lepidoptera. We curated 81 genes from 36 insect species and identified a novel lepidopteran SNMP gene family, SNMP3. Phylogenetic analysis shows that lepidopteran SNMP3, but not the previously annotated lepidopteran SNMP2, is the true homologue of the dipteran SNMP2. Digital expression, microarray and qPCR analyses show that the lepidopteran SNMP1 is specifically expressed in adult antennae. SNMP2 is widely expressed in multiple tissues while SNMP3 is specifically expressed in the larval midgut. Microarray analysis suggest SNMP3 may be involved in the silkworm immunity response to virus and bacterial infections. We functionally characterized SNMP1 in the silkworm using RNA interference (RNAi) and behavioral assays. Our results suggested that Bombyx mori SNMP1 is a functional orthologue of the Drosophila melanogaster SNMP1 and plays a critical role in pheromone detection. Split-ubiquitin yeast hybridization study shows that BmorSNMP1 has a protein-protein interaction with the pheromone receptor (BmorOR1), and the co-receptor (BmorOrco). Concluding, we propose a novel molecular model in which BmorOrco, BmorSNMP1 and BmorOR1 form a heteromer in the detection of the silkworm sex pheromone bombykol.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Agricultural Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd.
Copyright: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd.
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