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PLoS One. 2009 Jul 16;4(7):e6237. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006237.

Genome analysis and expression patterns of odorant-binding proteins from the Southern House mosquito Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus.

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  • 1Honorary Maeda-Duffey Laboratory, Department of Entomology, University of California Davis, Davis, CA, USA.

Abstract

Olfactory-based behaviors in mosquitoes are mediated by odorant-binding proteins (OBPs). They form a multigenic family involved in the peripheral events in insect olfaction, specifically the transport of odorants to membrane-bound odorant receptors. OBPs contribute to the remarkable sensitivity of the insect's olfactory system and may be involved in the selective transport of odorants.We have employed a combination of bioinformatics and molecular approaches to identify and characterize members of the "classic" OBP family in the Southern House mosquito Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus ( = Cx. quinquefasciatus), a vector of pathogens causing several human diseases. By taking advantage of the recently released genome sequences, we have identified fifty-three putative Cx. quinquefasciatus OBP genes by Blast searches. As a first step towards their molecular characterization, expression patterns by RT-PCR revealed thirteen genes that were detected exclusively and abundantly in chemosensory tissues. No clear differences were observed in the transcripts levels of olfactory-specific OBPs between antennae of both sexes using semi-quantitative RT-PCR. Phylogenetic and comparative analysis revealed orthologous of Cx. quinquefasciatus OBPs in Anopheles gambiae and Aedes aegypti. The identification of fifty-three putative OBP genes in Cx. quinquefasciatus highlights the diversity of this family. Tissue-specificity study suggests the existence of different functional classes within the mosquito OBP family. Most genes were detected in chemosensory as well as non chemosensory tissues indicating that they might be encapsulins, but not necessarily olfactory proteins. On the other hand, thirteen "true" OBP genes were detected exclusively in olfactory tissues and might be involved specifically in the detection of "key" semiochemicals. Interestingly, in Cx. quinquefasciatus olfactory-specific OBPs belong exclusively to four distinct phylogenetic groups which are particularly well conserved among three mosquito species.

PMID:
19606229
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2707629
Free PMC Article

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