Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 85, Issue 5–6, pp 234–245 | Cite as

Transcriptome Profiling of Neurosensory Perception Genes in Wing Tissue of Two Evolutionary Distant Insect Orders: Diptera (Drosophila melanogaster) and Hemiptera (Acyrthosiphon pisum)

Original Article


The neurogenesis and neuronal functions in insect wing have been understudied mainly due to technical hindrances that have prevented electrophysiology studies for decades. The reason is that the nano-architecture of the wing chemosensory bristles hampers the receptors accessibility of odorants/tastants to receptors in fixed setup, whereas in nature, the wing flapping mixes these molecules in bristle lymph. In this report, we analyzed the transcriptome of the wing tissue of two species phylogenetically strongly divergent: Drosophila melanogaster a generic model for diptera order (complete metamorphosis) and the aphid acyrthosiphon pisum, representative of hemiptera order (incomplete metamorphosis) for which a conditional winged/wingless polyphenism is under control of population density and resources. The transcriptome shows that extensive gene networks involved in chemosensory perception are active in adult wing for both species. Surprisingly, the specific transcripts of genes that are commonly found in eye were present in Drosophila wing but not in aphid. The analysis reveals that in the aphid conditional wing, expressed genes show strong similarities with those in the gut epithelia. This suggests that the epithelial cell layer between the cuticle sheets is persistent at least in young aphid adult, whereas it disappears after emergence in Drosophila. Despite marked differences between the two transcriptomes, the results highlight the probable universalism of wing chemosensory function in the holometabolous and hemimetabolous orders of winged insects.


Insect wing Chemosensory receptors Wing neurons Wing evolution 



We are very grateful to Jean François Ferveur for fruitful discussions. The Drosophila Bloomington Stock Center is acknowledged for fly stocks. We thank a lot Aviv Dombrovsky and Jean Christophe Valmalette that gave rise to this manuscript, inspired by an initial work brought together. This work was supported by the ANR “blanc,” acronym: “Gustaile,” and the ANR “blanc,” acronym “methylclonome,” and by the French Government (National Research Agency, ANR) through the LABEX SIGNALIFE program (reference # ANR-11-LABX-0028-01).

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra Agnel
    • 1
  • Martine da Rocha
    • 1
  • Alain Robichon
    • 1
  1. 1.Université Côte d’Azur, INRA, CNRS, ISASophia AntipolisFrance

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