BmVMP90, a large vitelline membrane protein of the domesticated silkmoth Bombyx mori, is an essential component of the developing ovarian follicle.
To study the regulation of the gene(s) coding for the actin present in the microfilaments involved in the secretion of silk, we have probed a Bombyx mori genomic library with a Drosophila actin cDNA clone and selected 16 recombinant phages. They correspond to 3 different genomic fragments each containing a distinct actin coding sequence. Southern blots of genomic DNA probed with the cloned genes show that in Bombyx mori, there are at least 5 different actin genomic sequences. Two cloned genes A1 and A2 hybridize to a 1.7 kb long mRNA abundant in the carcass of the larva and thus probably code for muscle type actin. The third cloned gene, A3, hybridizes to two mRNAs of about 1.8 kb present in the silk gland and thus probably encodes a cytoplasmic actin. The coding sequence of this gene has been sequenced: it is almost identical to the Drosophila cytoplasmic actin genes but it has a single intron of 92 nucleotides within the codon 116, a position not observed in any other organism.