3xP3-EGFP marker facilitates screening for transgenic silkworm Bombyx mori L. from the embryonic stage onwards.
ABSTRACT Transgenesis was recently achieved in Bombyx mori L., but it has proved difficult and time-consuming to screen the numerous progeny to identify the transgenic individuals. As the 3xP3-EGFP marker has been shown to be a suitable universal marker for transgenic insects (Nature 402 (1999) 370), we evaluated its use for embryonic-stage screening for B. mori L. germline transformation. Using the piggyBac-derived vector pBac[3xP3-EGFPaf], we were able to isolate four transgenic individuals from about 120,000 embryos (560 broods). The screening was straightforward due to EGFP production in the G1 embryonic stemmata, which was visible through the translucent egg chorion. EGFP was produced in the stemmata and central and peripheral nervous systems from the fifth day of embryonic development. It persisted at high levels in the stemmata throughout the larval stage, and was also present in the compound eyes and nervous tissues of the pupae and the compound eyes of the moths.
Article: Identification of the Bombyx red egg gene reveals involvement of a novel transporter family gene in late steps of the insect ommochrome biosynthesis pathway.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Ommochromes are one of the major pigments involved in coloration of eggs, eyes, and body surface of insects. However, the molecular mechanisms of the final steps of ommochrome pigment synthesis have been largely unknown. The eggs of the silkworm Bombyx mori contain a mixture of ommochrome pigments, and exhibit a brownish lilac color. The recessive homozygous of egg and eye color mutant, red egg (re), whose eggs display a pale orange color instead of normal dark coloration, has been long suggested to have a defect in the biosynthesis of the final ommochrome pigments. Here, we identify the gene responsible for the re locus by positional cloning, mutant analysis, and RNAi experiments. In the re mutants, we found that a 541-bp transposable element is inserted into the ORF of BGIBMGA003497-1 (Bm-re) encoding a novel member of a major facilitator superfamily transporter, causing disruption of the splicing of exon 9, resulting in two aberrant transcripts with frameshifts yielding nonfunctional proteins lacking the C-terminal transmembrane domains. Bm-re function in pigmentation was confirmed by embryonic RNAi experiments. Homologs of the Bm-re gene were found in all insect genomes sequenced at present, except for 12 sequenced Drosophila genomes, which seemed to correlate with the previous studies that have demonstrated that eye ommochrome composition is different from other insects in several Dipterans. Knockdown of the Bm-re homolog by RNAi in the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum caused adult compound eye coloration defects, indicating a conserved role in ommochrome pigment biosynthesis at least among holometabolous insects.Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2012; 287(21):17706-14. · 4.77 Impact Factor
Article: A Functional Comparison of the 3xP3 Promoter by Recombinase-Mediated Cassette Exchange in Drosophila and a Tephritid Fly, Anastrepha suspensa.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Transposable elements are widely used as vectors for integrating transgenes into the genome of insects. However, the random nature of transposon vector integrations often results in mutations and makes transgene expression subject to variable genomic position effects. This makes reliable quantitative comparisons of different transgenes difficult, and development of highly fit transgenic strains laborious. Tools for site-specific transgene targeting are essential for functional genomic comparisons and to develop the most advanced transgenic insect strains for applied use. Here we describe a recombinase-mediated cassette exchange (RMCE) gene targeting system based on Cre/loxP that is highly efficient in Drosophila, and for the first time in a non-drosophilid, the tephritid fly, Anastrepha suspensa. This system allowed a comparison of the Drosophila constitutive polyubiquitin promoter and the artificial 3xP3 tissue-specific promoter in the same genomic context within each species, showing that the widely used 3xP3 promoter is apparently non-functional in the tephritid fly.G3 (Bethesda, Md.). 03/2013;
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ABSTRACT: Transgenesis of most insects currently relies on fluorescence markers. Here we establish a transformation marker system causing phenotypes visible to the naked eye due to changes in the color of melanin pigments, which are widespread in animals. Ubiquitous overexpression of arylalkylamine-N-acetyl transferase in the silkworm, Bombyx mori, changes the color of newly hatched first-instar larvae from black to a distinctive light brown color, and can be used as a molecular marker by directly connecting to baculovirus immediate early 1 gene promoter. Suppression of black pigmentation by Bm-arylalkylamine-N-acetyl transferase can be observed throughout the larval stages and in adult animals. Alternatively, overexpression in another gene, B. mori β-alanyl-dopamine synthetase (Bm-ebony), changes the larval body color of older instars, although first-instar larvae had normal dark coloration. We further show that ectopic Bm-arylalkylamine-N-acetyl transferase expression lightens coloration in ladybird beetle Harmonia axyridis and fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, highlighting the potential usefulness of this marker for transgenesis in diverse insect taxa.Nature Communications 12/2012; 3:1295. · 7.40 Impact Factor