Transgenic Research

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 507–516 | Cite as

Effect of BBX-B8 overexpression on development, body weight, silk protein synthesis and egg diapause of Bombyx mori

  • Xiaojian Zheng
  • Yongchang Gong
  • Dhiraj Kumar
  • Fei Chen
  • Sulan Kuan
  • Zi Liang
  • Xiaolong Hu
  • Guangli Cao
  • Renyu Xue
  • Chengliang GongEmail author
Original Paper


Bombyxin (BBX) is an insulin-like peptide exists in the silkworm Bombyx mori. Our previous studies on the effects of inhibiting BBX-B8 expression found that BBX-B8 is important for the development of organ, reproduction and trehalose metabolism in the silkworms. In this paper, we investigated the expression profile of the BBX-B8 gene and effect of BBX-B8 overexpression on the development, body weight, silk protein synthesis and egg diapause of B. mori to further understand BBX-B8 functions. BBX-B8 gene expression could be detected in the brains, midguts, anterior silkglands, ovaries, testes, fat bodies, hemolymph, malpighian tubules and embryos by RT-PCR, however it was mainly expressed in the brain. Western blots showed that the change in BBX-B8 expression was not obvious in the brain of 1- to 4-day-old larvae of fifth instar silkworms, but expression increased substantially at 5- to 6-day-old larvae of fifth instar silkworms. Transgenic silkworms overexpressing BBX-B8 were obtained by introducing non-transposon transgenic vector pIZT-B8 containing a BBX-B8 gene driven by Orgyia pseudotsugata nucleopolyhedrovirus IE2 promoter into the genome. Development duration of the transgenic silkworms was delayed by 2.5–3.5 days. Cocoon shell weight of transgenic silkworms was reduced by 4.79 % in females and 7.44 % in males, pupal weight of transgenic silkworms was reduced 6.75 % in females and 13.83 % in males compared to non-transgenic silkworms, and 5.56–14.29 % of transgenic moths laid nondiapausing eggs. All results indicated that BBX-B8 plays an important role in the development, silk protein synthesis and egg diapause of silkworm.


Bombyxin BBX-8 gene Development Silk protein synthesis Egg diapause 



We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, 2012CB114600), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31272500), State Key Laboratory of Silkworm Genome Biology (SKLSGB201200011) and a project funded by the Priority Academic Program of Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions. We also thank Professor Iwami Masafumi (Division of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Kanazawa University) for kindly providing mouse anti-Bombyxin II monoclonal antibody.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaojian Zheng
    • 1
  • Yongchang Gong
    • 1
  • Dhiraj Kumar
    • 1
  • Fei Chen
    • 1
  • Sulan Kuan
    • 1
  • Zi Liang
    • 1
  • Xiaolong Hu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Guangli Cao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Renyu Xue
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chengliang Gong
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Biology and Basic Medical ScienceSoochow UniversitySuzhouChina
  2. 2.National Engineering Laboratory for Modern SilkSoochow UniversitySuzhouChina
  3. 3.Pre-clinical Medical and Biological Science CollegeSoochow UniversitySuzhouChina

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