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CRISPR Disruption of BmOvo Resulted in the Failure of Emergence and Affected the Wing and Gonad Development in the Silkworm Bombyx mori

  • honglun, bi
  • xia, xu
  • xiaowei, li
  • zhang, yong
  • huang, yongping
  • kai, li
  • jun, xu
Publication Date
Aug 19, 2019
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The domesticated silkworm is an economically important insect that is widely used as a lepidopteran insect model. Although somatic sex determination in the silkworm is well characterized, germline sex determination is not. Here, we used the transgenic-based CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system to study the function of the Ovo gene in Bombyx mori. BmOvo is the homolog of a factor important in germline sex determination in Drosophila melanogaster. BmOvo mutants had abnormally shaped eggs that were disordered in the ovarioles, and gonad development was abnormal. Interestingly, wing discs and wings did not develop properly, and most of the mutants failed to eclose. Gene expression analyses by qRT-PCR showed that BmOvo gene was highly expressed in the wing disc and epidermis. Genes involved in the WNT signaling pathway and wing development genes BmWCP10 and BmE74 were downregulated in the BmOvo mutants when compared with wild-type animals. These results demonstrate that the BmOvo gene product plays an important role in wing metamorphosis. Thus, this study provides new insights into the multiple functions of BmOvo beyond germline sex determination.

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