[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) that infects the silkworm, B. mori, accounts for .50% of silk cocoon crop losses globally. We speculated that simultaneous targeting of several BmNPV essential genes in transgenic silkworm would elicit a stable defense against the virus. We introduced into the silkworm germline the vectors carrying short sequences of four essential BmNPV genes in tandem, either in sense or antisense or in inverted-repeat arrangement. The transgenic silkworms carrying the inverted repeat-containing transgene showed stable protection against high doses of baculovirus infection. Further, the antiviral trait was incorporated to a commercially productive silkworm strain highly susceptible to BmNPV. This led to combining the high-yielding cocoon and silk traits of the parental commercial strain and a very high level of refractoriness (.75% survival rate as compared to ,15% in nontransgenic lines) to baculovirus infection conferred by the transgene. We also observed impaired infectivity of the occlusion bodies derived from the transgenic lines as compared to the wild-type ones. Currently, large-scale exploitation of these transgenic lines is underway to bring about economic transformation of sericulture.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) that infects the silkworm, B. mori, accounts for more than 50% of silk cocoon crop losses globally. We speculated that simultaneous targeting of several BmNPV essential genes in transgenic silkworm would elicit a stable defense against the virus. We introduced into the silkworm germline the vectors carrying short sequences of four essential BmNPV genes in tandem, either in sense or antisense, or in inverted-repeat arrangement. The transgenic silkworms carrying the inverted repeat-containing transgene showed stable protection against high doses of baculovirus infection. Further, the antiviral trait was incorporated to a commercially productive silkworm strain highly susceptible to BmNPV. This led to combine the high yielding cocoon and silk traits of the parental commercial strain and a very high level of refractoriness (>75% survival rate as compared to <15% in non-transgenic lines) to baculovirus infection conferred by the transgene. We also observed impaired infectivity of the occlusion bodies derived from the transgenic lines as compared to the wild type ones. Currently, large scale exploitation of these transgenic lines is underway to bring about economic transformation of sericulture.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) profiles, from posterior and median cells of the silk gland of Bombyx mori, were analyzed and compared, so as to identify their respective distinguishing functions. The annotation of the SAGE libraries was performed with a B. mori reference tag collection, which was extracted from a novel set of Bombyx ESTs, sequenced from the 3' side. Most of the tags appeared at similar relative concentration within the two libraries, and corresponded with region-specific and highly abundant silk proteins. Strikingly, in addition to tags from silk protein mRNAs, 19 abundant tags were found (≥ 0.1%), in the median cell library, which were absent in the posterior cell tag collection. With the exception of tags from SP1 mRNA, no PSG specific tags were found in this subset class. The analysis of some of the MSG-specific transcripts, suggested that middle silk gland cells have diversified functions, in addition to their well characterized role in silk sericins synthesis and secretion.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated viral inhibition has been used in a few organisms for eliciting viral resistance. In the present study, we report the use of RNAi in preventing baculovirus infection in a lepidopteran. We targeted the baculoviral immediate early-1 (ie-1) gene in both a transformed lepidopteran cell line and in the transgenic silkworm Bombyx mori L. Constitutive expression of double-stranded RNA was achieved by piggyBac-mediated transformation of Sf9 cell line with a transgene encoding double-stranded ie-1 RNA (dsie-1). Strong viral repression was seen at early stages of infection but subsequent recovery of viral proliferation was observed. In contrast, the same transgene inserted into the chromosomes of transgenic silkworms induced long-term inhibition of B. mori nucleopolyhedrovirus infection, with nearly 40% protection compared with nontransgenic animals. Protection was efficient at larval stages after oral infection with occlusion bodies or hemocoel injection of budded viruses. Virus injected pupae also displayed resistance. These results show that heritable RNAi can be used to protect silkworm strains from baculovirus infection.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We studied a protein from the midgut of the silkworm Bombyx mori characterized by its ability to bind the prosthetic group of chlorophyll, that confers fluorescent properties to this protein. Several techniques, 2D electrophoresis purification, MS-MS and Maldi-TOF peptide sequencing, RT-PCR and nucleotide sequencing were used to obtain the nucleotide sequence and the deduced amino acid sequence. The coding sequence was compared to the gene sequence to define the number and size of introns and exons. The gene spanned 45.5 kb of DNA and consisted of 46 exons. The cDNA encoded a protein of 2721 amino acids. The protein was identified as a lipocalin with novel features. Most lipocalins are proteins with high affinity to small lipophilic molecules, with a molecular size in the 25 kDa range and a well conserved tertiary structure. The apoprotein described here revealed 15 lipocalin like structures, in line. We called this protein a polycalin (pentadecacalin).
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A gene construct was made by fusing the coding sequence of the red fluorescent protein (DsRed) to the exon 2 of the fibrohexamerin gene (fhx), that encodes a subunit of fibroin, the major silk protein of the silkworm Bombyx mori. The fusion gene was inserted into a piggyBac vector to establish a series of transgenic lines. The expression of the transgene was monitored during the course of larval life and was found restricted to the posterior silk gland cells as the endogenous fhx gene, in all the selected transgenic lines. The exogenous polypeptide was secreted into the lumen of the posterior silk gland together with fibroin, and further exported with the silk proteins as a foreign constituent of the cocoon fiber. The capacity of DsRed to emit fluorescence in the air-dried silk thread led to show that the recombinant protein was distributed over the whole length of the fiber. A remarkable property of the system lies in the localization of the globular protein at the periphery of the silk thread, allowing its rapid and easy recovery in aqueous solutions, without dissolving fibroin. The procedure represents a novel and promising strategy for the production of massive recombinant proteins of biomedical and pharmaceutical interest, with reduced cost.
Transgenic Research 09/2005; 14(4):463-72. · 2.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to improve the management of transformed populations in a routine application of transgenesis technology in Bombyx mori, we modified its mode of reproduction and its voltinism. On one hand, after a stable integration of the gene of interest by transgenesis, it is preferable to maintain this gene in an identical genomic context through successive generations. This can be obtained by artificial parthenogenetic reproduction (ameiotic parthenogenesis) giving isogenic females identical to their transformed mother. On the other hand, it is essential to obtain continuous generations (polyvoltinism) after microinjection, in order to screen positive transgenic insects and study genetics and insertion of the transgene. Thereafter, it is more convenient to store these populations, as diapause eggs before their use in biotechnology application. We obtained such polyvoltine parthenoclones, first by selection for a parthenogenetic character in polyvoltine races, and second, by selection for a polyvoltine character in a parthenogenetic, but diapausing clone of B. mori. As diapause was directly under the control of diapause hormone (DH), we also tested direct injection of DH in female pupae of polyvoltine strains, as well as anti-DH antibody treatment to eliminate diapause in univoltine strains. We discussed the advantages and limitations of these methods and proved the feasibility in obtaining polyvoltine parthenoclones and determining the voltinism in B. mori. These methods would permit us to improve the management of populations used in transgenesis technology.
Journal of Insect Physiology 09/2004; 50(8):751-60. · 2.38 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The invertebrate parvovirus Junonia coenia densovirus (JcDNV) shares similarities with terminal hairpins and nonstructural (NS) protein activities of adeno-associated virus (AAV) despite their evolutionary divergence (B. Dumas, M. Jourdan, A. M. Pascaud, and M. Bergoin, Virology, 191:202-222, 1992, and C. Ding, M. Urabe, M. Bergoin, and R. M. Kotin, J. Virol. 76:338-345, 2002). We demonstrate here that persistent transgene expression in insect cells results from stable integration of transfected JcDNV-derived vectors into the host genome. To assess the integrative properties of JcDNV vectors, the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gfp marker gene was fused in frame into the major open reading frame (ORF1) of the viral sequence under the control of the P9 capsid protein promoter. In addition, the influence of the nonstructural proteins on the posttransfection maintenance of the vectors was examined by interruption of one or all three NS ORFs. Following transfection of Sf9 cells with each of the JcDNV constructs, clones showing persistent GFP expression were isolated. Structural analyses revealed that the majority of the JcDNV plasmid sequence was integrated into the genome of the fluorescent clones. Integration was observed whether or not NS proteins were expressed. However, the presence of NS genes in the constructs greatly influenced the number of integrated copies and their distribution in the host genome. Disruption of NS genes expression resulted in integration of head-to-tail concatemers at multiple sites within the genome. Further analyses demonstrated that the cis JcDNV 5' inverted terminal repeat region was the primary site of recombination. Sequence analyses of integration junctions showed rearrangements of both flanking and internal sequences for most integrations. These findings demonstrate that JcDNV vectors integrate into insect cells in a manner similar to AAV plasmids in mammalian cells.
Journal of Virology 11/2003; 77(20):11060-71. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Lepidopteran densovirus-derived vector, pJlacZDeltaNS3, is a defective virus genome with an insertion of lacZ DNA in the viral structural protein coding sequence, and a deletion of the sequence coding the non-structural polypeptide NS3. pJlacZDeltaNS3 was injected into Drosophila eggs and the maintenance of the viral genome was monitored by expression of beta-galactosidase and by Southern blot hybridizations. Intense beta-galactosidase activity was observed in many somatic tissues of third-instar larvae and adult flies, in more than 60% of the injected animals. DNA analyses showed that staining in adult tissues correlated with the amplification of the vector. Together, these results suggest the occurrence of early events of integration of the vector into the Drosophila host genome.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have developed a system for stable germline transformation in the silkworm Bombyx mori L. using piggyBac, a transposon discovered in the lepidopteran Trichoplusia ni. The transformation constructs consist of the piggyBac inverted terminal repeats flanking a fusion of the B. mori cytoplasmic actin gene BmA3 promoter and the green fluorescent protein (GFP). A nonautonomous helper plasmid encodes the piggyBac transposase. The reporter gene construct was coinjected into preblastoderm eggs of two strains of B. mori. Approximately 2% of the individuals in the G1 broods expressed GFP. DNA analyses of GFP-positive G1 silkworms revealed that multiple independent insertions occurred frequently. The transgene was stably transferred to the next generation through normal Mendelian inheritance. The presence of the inverted terminal repeats of piggyBac and the characteristic TTAA sequence at the borders of all the analyzed inserts confirmed that transformation resulted from precise transposition events. This efficient method of stable gene transfer in a lepidopteran insect opens the way for promising basic research and biotechnological applications.