Several families of genes that are exclusively expressed in the salivary glands of the first instar larvae have been identified and characterized by sequencing clones from a Hessian fly [Mayetiola destructor (Say)] salivary cDNA library. All of these genes encode putative proteins with secretion signal peptides at the N-terminal. Each gene family contains several members that encode putative proteins with over 70% amino acid sequence identity. Southern blot and BAC clone analyses indicated that most of the members in each gene family are located as clusters in individual chromosomes. Some members between different gene families also share sequence similarities in both (putative) secretion signal and nuclear localization domains at both DNA and protein levels, indicating that they are probably arising from gene duplications. It has been postulated that Hessian fly larvae inject substances into plants during feeding through salivary glands and stunt wheat seedlings. However, no proteins or other chemicals have been identified to support this hypothesis. We are currently generating recombinant proteins following a high-through-put protocol for activity assays and for antibody production.
Species 1: Diptera Cecidomyiidae Mayetiola destructor (Hessian fly)
Keywords: gene expression, salivary glands
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