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Gene. 2003 Oct 16;316:127-36.

Comparison of gene representation in midguts from two phytophagous insects, Bombyx mori and Ips pini, using expressed sequence tags.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry/330, University of Nevada Reno, Reno 89557, NV, USA.


Midgut proteins may provide new molecular targets for insect control. This could be particularly important for some pests, such as pine bark beetles, which are difficult to control by conventional methods. Expressed sequence tags (ESTs) provide information about the activity of a particular tissue, and, in the case of pest insects, may quickly identify potential targets. We present here an EST project representing 574 tentative unique genes (TUGs) expressed in the midgut of the male pine engraver beetle, Ips pini. This tissue uses the mevalonate pathway to produce the monoterpenoid pheromone component, ipsdienol, de novo in response to juvenile hormone (JH) III. Comparison of our ESTs with those previously isolated from larval silkmoth (Bombyx mori) midguts revealed interesting similarities and differences in gene representation that correlate with the conserved and divergent functions of these two tissues. For example, seven mevalonate pathway genes were represented in the I. pini ESTs, while none were found from B. mori. This type of comparison may assist the identification of species-specific targets for future pest control strategies.

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