Chitin synthase (CHS) is an important enzyme in insects and other chitin-containing organisms. However, current knowledge on chitin synthase, especially their structures, functions, and regulations in insects is still very limited. This poster reports the expression patterns and functional analysis of two chitin synthase (AgCHS1 and AgCHS2) genes in African malaria mosquito (Anopheles gambiae). AgCHS1 and AgCHS2 were predicted to encode proteins of 1,566 and 1,610 amino acid residues, respectively. These genes showed high similarities to those of other insect species in deduced amino acid sequences. AgCHS1 was expressed in egg, larval, pupal and adult stages whereas AgCHS2 appeared to be expressed at relatively low levels, particularly during the larval stages as examined by RT-PCR. Relatively high gene expression levels were detected in the carcass followed by the foregut and hindgut for AgCHS1, and the foregut followed by the midgut for AgCHS2, respectively. Functional analysis of these genes is currently being pursued using RNAi.
Key words: chitin synthase, Anopheles gambiae, gene expression, RNAi
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