Molecular characterization of vitellogenin and vitellogenin receptor of Bemisia tabaci

Santosh Kumar Upadhyay, Harpal Singh, Sameer Dixit, Venugopal Mendu, Praveen C. Verma

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Vitellogenin (Vg) plays vital role in oocytes and embryo development in insects. Vg is synthesized in the fat body, moves through haemolymph and accumulates in oocytes. Vitellogenin receptors (VgR) present on the surface of oocytes, are responsible for Vg transportation from haemolymph to oocytes. Here, we cloned and characterized these genes from Bemisia tabaci Asia1 (BtA1) species. The cloned BtA1Vg and BtA1VgR genes consisted of 6,330 and 5,430 bp long open reading frames, which encoded 2,109 and 1,809 amino acid (AA) residues long protein. The BtA1Vg protein comprised LPD-N, DUF1943 and VWFD domains, typical R/KXXR/K, DGXR and GL/ICG motifs, and polyserine tracts. BtA1VgR protein contained 12 LDLa, 10 LDLb and 7 EGF domains, and a trans-membrane and cytoplasmic region at C-terminus. Phylogenetic analyses indicated evolutionary association of BtA1Vg and BtA1VgR with the homologous proteins from various insect species. Silencing of BtA1VgR by siRNA did not affect the transcript level of BtA1Vg. However, BtA1Vg protein accumulation in oocytes was directly influenced with the expression level of BtA1VgR. Further, BtA1VgR silencing caused significant mortality and reduced fecundity in adult whiteflies. The results established the role of BtA1VgR in transportation of BtA1Vg in oocytes. Further, these proteins are essential for fecundity, and therefore these can be potential RNAi targets for insect control in crop plants.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0155306
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016


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