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Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2008 Aug;38(8):749-55. doi: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2008.04.007. Epub 2008 May 16.

Tubulin superfamily genes in Tribolium castaneum and the use of a Tubulin promoter to drive transgene expression.

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  • 1Department of Entomology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.


The use of native promoters to drive transgene expression has facilitated overexpression studies in Drosophila and other insects. We identified 12 Tubulin family members from the genome sequence of the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, and used the promoter from one of these to drive constitutive expression of a transgene. The activity of the T. castaneum alpha-Tubulin1 (TcalphaTub1) putative promoter was pre-tested in conjunction with an eye-color gene, T. castaneum vermilion (Tcv), by transient expression in Tcv-deficient embryos. Such embryos showed complete rescue of larval eyespot pigmentation. We also examined the TcalphaTub1 expression pattern in germline transformants using the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) reporter. Beetles transformed with this piggyBac-based reporter ubiquitously expressed EGFP at all stages.

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