Tuesday, 16 November 2004

Functional analyses of isoforms of chitin synthases and chitinases of the red flour beetle by RNAi-mediated gene knock-down

S. Muthukrishnan, smk@ksu.edu1, Y. Arakane, arakane@gmprc.ksu.edu2, Qingsong Zhu, qszhu@ksu.edu1, K. J. Kramer, kramer@gmprc.ksu.edu2, R. W. Beeman, beeman@gmprc.ksu.edu2, M. R. Kanost, kanost@ksu.edu1, and Charles A. Specht, cspecht@bu.edu3. (1) Kansas State University, Department of Biochemistry, Willard Hall, Manhattan, KS, (2) USDA-ARS, Grain Marketing and Production Research Center, 1515 College Ave, Manhattan, KS, (3) Boston Universiy, Department of Medicine, Sectionof Infectious Disease, Boston, MA

Chitin is an important structural component of the cuticle and peritrophic matrix of insects. The red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, has multiple isoforms of chitin synthases and chitinases, which synthesize and degrade chitin, respectively. To determine the role of individual isoforms of these enzymes in chitin metabolism, we have utilized RNAi-mediated gene knockout experiments using larvae, prepupae and pupae of this beetle. The effects of injections of isoform-specific dsRNA on the phenotype, levels of specific transcripts, morphology, development, and chitin content of insects were determined. These experiments reveal the biological roles of some of the isoforms of chitin synthases and chitinases (Supported in part by National Science Foundation).

Species 1: Coleoptera Tenebrionidae Tribolium castaneum (red flour beetle)
Keywords: chitinase, chitin synthase

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