Expressional divergences of two desaturase genes determine the opposite ratios of two sex pheromone components in Helicoverpa armigera and Helicoverpa assulta

Rui Ting Li, Chao Ning, Ling Qiao Huang, Jun Feng Dong, Xianchun Li, Chen Zhu Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The sympatric closely related species Helicoverpa armigera and Helicoverpa assulta use 97:3 and 7:93 of (Z)-11-hexadecenal and (Z)-9-hexadecenal, respectively, as their sex pheromone to find/locate correct sex mates. Moreover, (Z)-11-hexadecenyl alcohol and (Z)-9-hexadecenyl alcohol are more abundant in the pheromone gland of H. assulta than in that of H. armigera. To clarify the molecular basis of these differences, we sequenced the pheromone gland transcriptomes of the two species and compared the expression patterns of the candidate enzyme genes involved in the pheromone biosynthetic pathways by FPKM values and quantitative RT-PCR analysis. We found that the desaturase gene LPAQ expressed about 70 times higher in H. armigera than in H. assulta, whereas another desaturase gene NPVE expressed about 60 times higher in H. assulta than in H. armigera. We also observed significantly higher expression of the fatty acyl reductase (FAR) gene FAR1 and the aldehyde reductase (AR) gene AR3 in H. assulta than in H. armigera. Examination of the pheromone glands of the backcross offspring of their hybrids to H. assulta showed a positive linear correlation between the expression level of LPAQ and the amount of Z11-16:Ald and between the expression level of NPVE and the amount of Z9-16:Ald in the pheromone glands. Taken together, these data demonstrate that the expressional divergences of LPAQ and NPVE determine the opposite sex pheromone component ratios in the two species and the divergent expression of FAR1 and AR3 may account for the greater accumulation of alcohols in the pheromone gland of H. assulta.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-100
Number of pages11
JournalInsect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Volume90
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

Keywords

  • Backcross
  • Desaturase
  • Fatty acyl reductase
  • Helicoverpa armigera
  • Helicoverpa assulta
  • Sex pheromone gland transcriptome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science

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