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Characterization of carotenoid biosynthetic pathway genes in the pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum) revealed by heterologous complementation and RNA interference assays.

Authors
  • Ding, Bi-Yue1, 2
  • Xie, Xiu-Cheng1, 2
  • Shang, Feng1, 2
  • Smagghe, Guy1, 2, 3
  • Niu, Jin-Zhi1, 2
  • Wang, Jin-Jun1, 2
  • 1 Key Laboratory of Entomology and Pest Control Engineering, College of Plant Protection, Southwest University, Chongqing, China. , (China)
  • 2 International Joint Laboratory of China-Belgium on Sustainable Crop Pest, Control, Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Southwest University, Chongqing, China. , (Belgium)
  • 3 Department of Plants and Crops, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. , (Belgium)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Insect Science
Publisher
Wiley (Blackwell Publishing)
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2022
Volume
29
Issue
3
Pages
645–656
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/1744-7917.12958
PMID: 34399028
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Carotenoids are involved in many essential physiological functions and are produced from geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate through synthase, desaturase, and cyclase activities. In the pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum), the duplication of carotenoid biosynthetic genes, including carotenoid synthases/cyclases (ApCscA-C) and desaturases (ApCdeA-D), through horizontal gene transfer from fungi has been detected, and ApCdeB has known dehydrogenation functions. However, whether other genes contribute to aphid carotenoid biosynthesis, and its specific regulatory pathway, remains unclear. In the current study, functional analyses of seven genes were performed using heterologous complementation and RNA interference assays. The bifunctional enzymes ApCscA-C were responsible for the synthase of phytoene, and ApCscC may also have a cyclase activity. ApCdeA, ApCdeC, and ApCdeD had diverse dehydrogenation functions. ApCdeA catalyzed the enzymatic conversion of phytoene to neurosporene (three-step product), ApCdeC catalyzed the enzymatic conversion of phytoene to ζ-carotene (two-step product), and ApCdeD catalyzed the enzymatic conversion of phytoene to lycopene (four-step product). Silencing of ApCscs reduced the expression levels of ApCdes, and silencing these carotenoid biosynthetic genes reduced the α-, β-, and γ-carotene levels, as well as the total carotenoid level. The results suggest that these genes were activated and led to carotenoid biosynthesis in the pea aphid. © 2021 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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