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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Biological Control of Insects Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #235995

Title: Cloning and Characterization of a Bursicon-Regulated Gene Su(H) in the House Fly Musca domestica

item Stanley, David

Submitted to: Insect Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/16/2009
Publication Date: 6/1/2009
Citation: Wang, S., An, S., Stanley, D.W., Song, Q. 2009. Cloning and Characterization of a Bursicon-Regulated Gene Su(H) in the House Fly Musca domestica. Insect Science. 16:207-217.

Interpretive Summary: Use of classical insecticides has introduced severe problems in agricultural and environmental sustainability. Two of most pressing problems are the ability of pest insects to resist classical insecticides and the negative influence of insecticides on ecosystems. One approach to reduce the environmental insecticide load is based on the concept of disrupting insect hormone systems to cripple insect development. This idea grew from discovery that chemicals that naturally occur in a few plant species block insect development. Although this modern approach to insect control is feasible, direct application is problematic. The concept of disrupting insect development is limited by lack of detailed knowledge of insect hormone systems. To help solve this problem, we are investigating how one of the insect hormones influences insect development. In this paper we report on identification of a specific hormone effect. We show that the hormone regulates expression of a specific gene required for development. This new research will be directly useful to scientists who are working to improve the usefulness of disrupting insect development. The ensuing improved methods will benefit a wide range of agricultural producers, and people who rely on agricultural products, by supporting the long-term sustainability of agriculture.

Technical Abstract: Bursicon is a neuropeptide that regulates cuticle sclerotization (hardening and tanning) in insect via G-protein coupled receptor. However, the signal transduction pathway down stream of the G-protein coupled receptor is currently not well known. In our recent microarray analysis, we identified a panel of genes regulated by bursicon in Drosophila. One of the genes, Suppressor of Hairless, or Su(H), has drawn our attention because its product acts down-stream of the bursicon receptor. In the present study, we cloned the Drosophila homolog, mdSu(H), from the house fly Musca domestica using 3’ and 5’ RACE. Real-time PCR analysis revealed that the level of mdSu(H) transcript is up-regulated by ~3 fold 1 h after recombinant bursicon injection, which correlates well with the cuticle sclerotization process observed in the recombinant bursicon-injected flies. We infer that Su(H) is an essential gene involved in insect cuticle sclerotization process.