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Evolution and characterization of serine protease gene family and its association with the feeding behavior in Noctuidae moths

Grant number: 12/03040-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2012
Effective date (End): August 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Molecular Genetics and Genetics of Microorganisms
Principal researcher:Márcio de Castro Silva Filho
Grantee:Renata de Oliveira Dias
Supervisor abroad: Anna Tramontano
Home Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Research place: Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, Italy  
Associated to the scholarship:10/17110-5 - Characterization of molecular bases involved in the polifagism of herbivore insect, BP.DR


Noctuidae moths (Lepidoptera) are known by damages caused to different plants. This insect family comprises important pests, some of them with diets ranging from one to many hosts. The evolutionary process that led closed species to adapt to specialist or generalist behavior is not completely elucidated, especially regarding to the molecular mechanisms involved. It is known that during evolution plants have developed a series of artifacts to their defense against herbivore insects. One of these strategies is the expression of protease inhibitors (PIs) that bind to insect digestive proteases and block their function. Among the proteases found in the midgut of Lepidoptera insects, the serine proteases (SPs) are the main endopeptidases in this organism. In previous studies, it was observed that in Spodoptera frugiperda (a generalist insect), the expression of some SPs is changed by the presence of plant IPs in the diet, occurring the increasing or even de novo synthesis of this enzymes. These results suggest that the regulation of SPs expression have important role in the response to plant IP ingestion. It is believed that these enzymes can be associated with adaptation to generalism in these insects. Using data of the midgut transcriptome of the three moths with three different feeding behaviors of the Noctuidae family, this project aims to analyze, considering evolutionary and structural characterization approaches, the SPs that are found in the midgut of this insects. We are seeking to understand if it is a correlation among the SP gene family diversification and the evolution of generalism inside the Noctuidae family. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
SOUZA, THAIS P.; DIAS, RENATA O.; CASTELHANO, ELAINE C.; BRANDAO, MARCELO M.; MOURA, DANIEL S.; SILVA-FILHO, MARCIO C. Comparative analysis of expression profiling of the trypsin and chymotrypsin genes from Lepidoptera species with different levels of sensitivity to soybean peptidase inhibitors. COMPARATIVE BIOCHEMISTRY AND PHYSIOLOGY B-BIOCHEMISTRY & MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, v. 196, p. 67-73, JUN-JUL 2016. Web of Science Citations: 4.
DIAS, RENATA O.; VIA, ALLEGRA; BRANDAO, MARCELO M.; TRAMONTANO, ANNA; SILVA-FILHO, MARCIO C. Digestive peptidase evolution in holometabolous insects led to a divergent group of enzymes in Lepidoptera. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, v. 58, p. 1-11, MAR 2015. Web of Science Citations: 5.

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