Induced expression of small heat shock proteins is associated with thermotolerance in female Laodelphax striatellus planthoppers
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Insects are often exposed to high temperature stress in natural environments, but the mechanisms involved in thermotolerance in many insect groups like Hemiptera are not well known. To explore possible mechanisms of thermotolerance in the hemipteran pest Laodelphax striatellus, which damages rice through direct feeding and viral transmission, small heat shock proteins (sHsps) implicated in thermotolerance in other insect groups were identified. The seven sHsps identified have a conserved alpha crystallin domain, a variable N-terminal region, and shared relative low identities to each other. Three of the sHsp genes (LsHsp20.5, LsHsp21.5, and LsHsp21.6) exhibited higher basal expression than the other four genes but showed weak or no heat-induced expression. The other four genes (LsHsp20.1, LsHsp21.2, LsHsp21.4, and LsHsp22.0) were induced up to 3306-fold by heat. Injection of dsRNA indicated that expression of these sHsps was associated with thermotolerance, and Escherichia coli transformed with LsHsp21.2 and LsHsp20.1 showed relatively higher thermotolerance. These results point to an important functional role of these sHsps for thermotolerance in L. striatellus.
KeywordsLaodelphax striatellus Thermotolerance sHsps Expression Stress
We thank Dr. Perran Ross for proofreading the revised manuscript.
This project was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (31572004), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20170072), and the Food Production Engineering of China (2016YFD0300706).
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