Regulation of olfactory-based sex behaviors in the silkworm by genes in the sex-determination cascade

Autoři: Jun Xu aff001;  Wei Liu aff002;  Dehong Yang aff001;  Shuqing Chen aff001;  Kai Chen aff001;  Zulian Liu aff001;  Xu Yang aff001;  Jing Meng aff001;  Guanheng Zhu aff004;  Shuanglin Dong aff004;  Yong Zhang aff005;  Shuai Zhan aff001;  Guirong Wang aff002;  Yongping Huang aff001
Působiště autorů: Key Laboratory of Insect Developmental and Evolutionary Biology, Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China aff001;  State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China aff002;  Shanghai First Maternity and Infant Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China aff003;  Education Ministry Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Crop Disease and Pests, College of Plant Protection, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China aff004;  Department of Biology, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, United States of America aff005
Vyšlo v časopise: Regulation of olfactory-based sex behaviors in the silkworm by genes in the sex-determination cascade. PLoS Genet 16(6): e32767. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1008622
Kategorie: Research Article


Insect courtship and mating depend on integration of olfactory, visual, and tactile cues. Compared to other insects, Bombyx mori, the domesticated silkworm, has relatively simple sexual behaviors as it cannot fly. Here by using CRISPR/Cas9 and electrophysiological techniques we found that courtship and mating behaviors are regulated in male silk moths by mutating genes in the sex determination cascade belonging to two conserved pathways. Loss of Bmdsx gene expression significantly reduced the peripheral perception of the major pheromone component bombykol by reducing expression of the product of the BmOR1 gene which completely blocked courtship in adult males. Interestingly, we found that mating behavior was regulated independently by another sexual differentiation gene, Bmfru. Loss of Bmfru completely blocked mating, but males displayed normal courtship behavior. Lack of Bmfru expression significantly reduced the perception of the minor pheromone component bombykal due to the down regulation of BmOR3 expression; further, functional analysis revealed that loss of the product of BmOR3 played a key role in terminating male mating behavior. Our results suggest that Bmdsx and Bmfru are at the base of the two primary pathways that regulate olfactory-based sexual behavior.

Klíčová slova:

Animal antennae – Gene expression – Gene regulation – Mating behavior – Moths and butterflies – Pheromones – Sex determination – Silkworms


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