Submitted to: Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 19, 1997
Publication Date: August 4, 1997
Citation: Handler, A.M. 1997. Developmental regulation of yolk protein gene expression in Anastrepha suspensa. Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology. 6:25-35. Interpretive Summary: The analysis of insect yolk protein structure and gene expression can provide information useful for the biological control of pest insects, which is a major goal of scientists of ARS, USDA, Gainesville, FL. The yolk protein itself can be a target for biocontrol agents, with its disruption causing females to be non-reproductive. The regulatory DNA which controls yolk protein gene expression can be used to cause the female-specific expression of other genes which are selectable and, therefore, useful for genetic-sexing. The analysis presented here for the yolk protein gene from the Caribbean fruit fly, Anastrepha suspensa, shows that the protein structure is quite similar to that of other dipteran species, including sequences related to lipases. It was also determined that expression of the yolk protein gene is completely female-specific, and is different from most other insects in that it is limited to the ovaries, with no contribution from the fat body.
Technical Abstract: A partial cDNA clone for the 48 kDalton yolk polypeptide gene from Anastrepha suspensa was isolated using yolk polypeptide antibody probe and hybridization to the Drosophila melanogaster yolk protein 1 gene. The sequenced DNA has greatest homology to the yolk protein genes from Ceratitis capitata, D. melanogaster, and Calliphora erythrocephala, and similar to these genes, shares amino acid sequence domains with those from lipases. RNA hybridization studies indicated that the yolk protein gene expression is completely female-specific and limited to the ovaries. This is in contrast to an earlier study which suggested, based on immunological probes, that a very low level of yolk protein synthesis occurred in fat body and was not sex-specific.