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Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2018 Jan;31(1):112-124. doi: 10.1094/MPMI-06-17-0139-R. Epub 2017 Nov 2.

A Gene Family Coding for Salivary Proteins (SHOT) of the Polyphagous Spider Mite Tetranychus urticae Exhibits Fast Host-Dependent Transcriptional Plasticity.

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1 Laboratory of Agrozoology, Department of Crop Protection, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Coupure links 653, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.
2 Department of Evolutionary Biology, Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, 1098 XH, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
3 Center for Proteomics (CFP), University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, 2020 Antwerp, Belgium.
4 Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), Boeretang 200, 2400 Mol, Belgium.
5 Department of Mathematical Modelling, Statistics and Bioinformatics, Ghent University.
6 Department of Population Biology, Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam.
7 Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Ghent University, Technologiepark 927, 9052 Gent, Belgium; and.
8 Centre for Plant Systems Biology, VIB, Technologiepark 927, 9052 Gent, Belgium.


The salivary protein repertoire released by the herbivorous pest Tetranychus urticae is assumed to hold keys to its success on diverse crops. We report on a spider mite-specific protein family that is expanded in T. urticae. The encoding genes have an expression pattern restricted to the anterior podocephalic glands, while peptide fragments were found in the T. urticae secretome, supporting the salivary nature of these proteins. As peptide fragments were identified in a host-dependent manner, we designated this family as the SHOT (secreted host-responsive protein of Tetranychidae) family. The proteins were divided in three groups based on sequence similarity. Unlike TuSHOT3 genes, TuSHOT1 and TuSHOT2 genes were highly expressed when feeding on a subset of family Fabaceae, while expression was depleted on other hosts. TuSHOT1 and TuSHOT2 expression was induced within 24 h after certain host transfers, pointing toward transcriptional plasticity rather than selection as the cause. Transfer from an 'inducer' to a 'noninducer' plant was associated with slow yet strong downregulation of TuSHOT1 and TuSHOT2, occurring over generations rather than hours. This asymmetric on and off regulation points toward host-specific effects of SHOT proteins, which is further supported by the diversity of SHOT genes identified in Tetranychidae with a distinct host repertoire.

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