Cris Oppert

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Tribolium castaneum is a member of the most species-rich eukaryotic order, a powerful model organism for the study of generalized insect development, and an important pest of stored agricultural products. We describe its genome sequence here. This omnivorous beetle has evolved the ability to interact with a diverse chemical environment, as shown by large(More)
Tribolium castaneum is an important agricultural pest and an advanced genetic model for coleopteran insects. We have taken advantage of the recently acquired T. castaneum genome to identify T. castaneum genes and proteins in one of the more critical environmental interfaces of the insect, the larval alimentary tract. Genetic transcripts isolated from the T.(More)
Efficient cellulolytic enzymes are needed to degrade recalcitrant plant biomass during ethanol purification and make lignocellulosic biofuels a cost-effective alternative to fossil fuels. Despite the large number of insect species that feed on lignocellulosic material, limited availability of quantitative studies comparing cellulase activity among insect(More)
Cry toxins produced by the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis are effective biological insecticides. Cadherin-like proteins have been reported as functional Cry1A toxin receptors in Lepidoptera. Here we present data that demonstrate that a coleopteran cadherin is a functional Cry3Aa toxin receptor. The Cry3Aa receptor cadherin was cloned from Tenebrio molitor(More)
Previous screening of head-derived and gut fluid extracts of Carolina grasshoppers, Dissosteira carolina (L.) revealed relatively high activity against cellulase substrates when compared to other insect groups. In this work we report on the characterization and identification of enzymes involved in cellulolytic activity in digestive fluids of D. carolina.(More)
The availability of sequenced insect genomes has allowed for discovery and functional characterization of novel genes and proteins. We report use of the Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) (red flour beetle) genome to identify, clone, express, and characterize a novel endo-β-1,4-glucanase we named TcEG1 (T. castaneum endoglucanase 1). Sequence analysis of a(More)
Resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac toxin was characterized in a population of Helicoverpa zea larvae previously shown not to have an alteration in toxin binding as the primary resistance mechanism to this toxin. Cry1Ac-selected larvae (AR1) were resistant to protoxins and toxins of Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac, and the corresponding modified proteins lacking(More)
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crystal (Cry) proteins are effective against a select number of insect pests, but improvements are needed to increase efficacy and decrease time to mortality for coleopteran pests. To gain insight into the Bt intoxication process in Coleoptera, we performed RNA-Seq on cDNA generated from the guts of Tenebrio molitor larvae that(More)
Postmating, prezygotic phenotypes, especially those that underlie reproductive isolation between closely related species, have been a central focus of evolutionary biologists over the past two decades. Such phenotypes are thought to evolve rapidly and be nearly ubiquitous among sexually reproducing eukaryotes where females mate with multiple partners.(More)
Cry toxins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria are environmentally safe alternatives to control insect pests. They are pore-forming toxins that specifically affect cell permeability and cellular integrity of insect-midgut cells. In this work we analyzed the defensive response of Aedes aegypti larva to Cry11Aa toxin intoxication by proteomic and(More)