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Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2007 Jul;37(7):726-31. Epub 2007 Apr 3.

Identification of immune-related genes from an apterygote insect, the firebrat Thermobia domestica.

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  • 1Institute of Phytopathology and Applied Zoology, Interdisciplinary Research Center, Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen, Heinrich-Buff-Ring 26-32, D-35392 Giessen, Germany.


In this study, we report the analysis of the immune-related transcriptome from an apterygote insect, the firebrat Thermobia domestica (Zygentoma, Lepismatidae), which currently emerges as a suitable model insect for evolutionary and developmental studies. The suppression subtractive hybridization method was used for targeted screening of genes that are up-regulated in response to injected bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). A subtracted cDNA library enriched in immune-inducible genes was constructed and analysis of 288 cDNAs resulted in identification of 26 novel genes in T. domestica. Among these immune-related transcripts we found homologues of genes from other insects which are involved in the regulation of signaling cascades and six novel putative antimicrobial peptides. The identified genes implicate the presence of sophisticated regulatory mechanisms in insect immune signaling and give insight into evolutionarily conserved features of insect innate immunity.

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