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Transcriptional comparison of the integument of bioluminescent and non-bioluminescent coleopteran larvae during ecdysis; isolation, expression and characterization of coumarate-ligases and laccases; and relation between pigmentation and bioluminescence

Grant number: 18/07925-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2019
Effective date (End): September 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry
Principal researcher:Vadim Viviani
Grantee:Jaqueline Rodrigues da Silva
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências e Tecnologias para a Sustentabilidade (CCTS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). Sorocaba , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:10/05426-8 - Arthropod bioluminescence: biological diversity in Brazilian biomes, biochemical origin, structural/functional evolution of luciferases, molecular differentiation of lanterns, biotechnological, environmental and educational applications, AP.TEM


Coleoptera species exhibits a wide range of visual displays, such as cuticle colors and bioluminescent signals, which arise from variation of sclerotization and pigmentation processes. Some evidences indicate the relation between intermediaries of sclerotization and pigmentation pathways and luciferin synthesis. Recently, transcriptome analysis of Malpighian tubules and fat body of Zophobas morio larvae have showed the presence of AMP-CoA ligases similar to 4-coumarate-CoA ligases in these tissues. The function these enzymes is unknown, but it is suggested that them may be involved in fenolic acids excretion or in activation of acids, which are structurally similar to acids of phenylpropanoid metabolism in plants, during the insect pigments biosynthesis. However, with exception of beetles luciferases, studies about AMP-CoA ligases enzymes in insects are scarce. To better understand the possible relations between pigmentation processes and bioluminescence, will are compared transcriptomes from Z. morio (Tenebrionidae) larvae, a non-bioluminescent specie, and the firefly Aspisoma lineatum (Lampyridae) before and after the ecdysis. Furthermore, transcripts related to pigmentation, specially 4-coumarate ligases and phenoloxidases, will are isolated, expressed, characterized by functional assays, and their expression patterns in these insects also will are investigated.

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