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Title: The study of the transformer gene from Bactrocera dorsalis and B. correcta with putative core promoter regions
Authors: Kamoltip Laohakieat
Nidchaya Aketarawong
Siriwan Isasawin
Siripong Thitamadee
Sujinda Thanaphum
Mahidol University. Faculty of Science. Department of Biotechnology
Keywords: Open Access article;Oriental fruit fly;Guava fruit fly;Tra core promoter;Alternative splicing;Genetic sexing strain
Issue Date: 2016
Citation: BMC Genetics. Vol. 17, (2016), 34
Abstract: Background: The transformer (tra) is a sex determining switch in different orders of insects, including Diptera, as in the family Tephritidae. The lifelong autoregulatory loop of tra female-specific splicing can be reset by the intervention of male-specific primary signals (M factor). In early development, the functional female and truncated male TRA proteins relay the sexual fates to the alternative splicing of a bisexual switch gene, doublesex (dsx) cascading the sexual differentiation processes. Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) and Bactrocera correcta (Bezzi) are among the Bactrocera model worldwide key pests. Area-wide integrated pest management using the male-only Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) relying on genetic sexing systems is effective in control programs. We undertook the molecular characterization and comparative studies of the tra orthologues in the Bactrocera species, including the Salaya1 genetic sexing strain (GSS). Results: RT-PCR revealed that B. dorsalis tra (Bdtra) and B. correcta tra (Bctra) transcripts contained conservation of both constitutive exons and male-specific exons as in other Bactrocera. However, new Bdtra male-specific exons were retained, diversifying the pattern of the male-specifically spliced transcripts. The coding sequences of tra were highly conserved in Bactrocera (86–95 %) but less so among related genera (61–65 %) within the same Tephritidae family. A conservation of deduced amino acid sequences (18 residues), called the TEP region, was identified to be distinctive among tephritids. The 5’ regulatory sequence containing many structural characteristics of the putative core promoter was discovered in B. correcta. The expression patterns of Bdtra and Bctra were sex-specifically spliced and the signals relayed to the dsx genes in the adult wild-types. However, the coexistence of male- and femalespecifically spliced transcripts (980 and 626 bp, respectively) of the B. dorsalis wild-type strain was found in the Salaya1 GSS adult males. The Bdtra RNA interference masculinized the XX karyotype females into pseudomales, but their testes were mostly not well developed. Conclusions: Bdtra and Bctra have sex-specific splicing, similar to Bactroceras, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), and Anastrephas. A newly identified TEP region is proposed in tephritids. A putative core promoter has been discovered in Bctra.
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