Shingo Kikuta

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The brown planthopper (BPH), Nilaparvata lugens, attacks rice plants and feeds on their phloem sap, which contains large amounts of sugars. The main sugar component of phloem sap is sucrose, a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose. Sugars appear to be incorporated into the planthopper body by sugar transporters in the midgut. A total of 93 expressed(More)
ok mutants of the silkworm, Bombyx mori, exhibit highly translucent larval skin resulting from the inability to incorporate uric acid into the epidermal cells. Here we report the identification of a gene responsible for the ok mutation using positional cloning and RNAi experiments. In two independent ok mutant strains, we found a 49-bp deletion and a 233-bp(More)
We recently cloned a trehalose transporter gene (Tret1) that contributes to anhydrobiosis induction in the sleeping chironomid Polypedilum vanderplanki Hinton. Because trehalose is the main haemolymph sugar in most insects, they might possess Tret1 orthologs involved in maintaining haemolymph trehalose levels. We cloned Tret1 orthologs from four species in(More)
Larvae of an anhydrobiotic insect, Polypedilum vanderplanki, accumulate very large amounts of trehalose as a compatible solute on desiccation, but the molecular mechanisms underlying this accumulation are unclear. We therefore isolated the genes coding for trehalose metabolism enzymes, i.e. trehalose-6-phosphate synthase (TPS) and trehalose-6-phosphate(More)
Directed evolution of a Cry1Aa toxin using phage display and biopanning was performed to generate an increased binding affinity to the Bombyx mori cadherin-like receptor (BtR175). Three mutant toxins (371 WGLA374 , 371 WPHH374 , 371 WRPQ374 25) with 16-, 16-, and 50-fold higher binding affinities, respectively, for BtR175 were selected from a phage library(More)
In the anhydrobiotic midge Polypedilum vanderplanki , LEA family proteins are likely to play distinct temporal and spatial roles in the larvae throughout the process of desiccation and rehydration. The larvae of the anhydrobiotic midge, P. vanderplanki, which can tolerate almost complete desiccation, accumulate late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins in(More)
Nodules consisting of hemocytes and trapped microorganisms are important targets for melanization, which is best known in the insect immune system. We investigated factors functioning in nodule melanization and the mechanism by which these factors congregate in the nodule. BmHP21, BmSPH1 and BmSPH2, Bombyx mori orthologs of Manduca sexta serine protease(More)
In a previous report, seven Cry1Ab-resistant strains were identified in the silkworm, Bombyx mori; these strains were shown to have a tyrosine insertion at position 234 in extracellular loop 2 of the ABC transporter C2 (BmABCC2). This insertion was confirmed to destroy the receptor function of BmABCC2 and confer the strains resistance against Cry1Ab and(More)
Anhydrobiosis represents an extreme example of tolerance adaptation to water loss, where an organism can survive in an ametabolic state until water returns. Here we report the first comparative analysis examining the genomic background of extreme desiccation tolerance, which is exclusively found in larvae of the only anhydrobiotic insect, Polypedilum(More)
In insects, Malpighian tubules are functionally analogous to mammalian kidneys in that they not only are essential to excrete waste molecules into the lumen but also are responsible for the reabsorption of indispensable molecules, such as sugars, from the lumen to the principal cells. Among sugars, the disaccharide trehalose is highly important to insects(More)