Transgenic characterization of two testis-specific promoters in the silkworm, Bombyx mori.


Sex-specific regulatory elements are key components for developing insect genetic sexing systems. The current insect genetic sexing system mainly uses a female-specific modification system whereas little success was reported on male-specific genetic modification. In the silkworm Bombyx mori, a lepidopteran model insect with economic importance, a transgene-based, female-specific lethality system has been established based on sex-specific alternative splicing factors and a female-specific promoter BmVgp (vitellogenin promoter) has been identified. However, no male-specific regulatory elements have yet been identified. Here we report the transgenic identification of two promoters that drive reporter gene expression in a testis-specific manner in B. mori. Putative promoter sequences from the B. mori Radial spoke head 1 gene (BmR1) and beta-tubulin 4 gene (Bmβ4) were introduced using piggybac-based germline transformation. In transgenic silkworms, expression of the reporter gene enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) directed by either BmR1 promoter (BmR1p) or Bmβ4p showed precisely testis-specific manners from the larval to adult stage. Furthermore, EGFP expression of these two transgenic lines showed different localization in the testis, indicating that BmR1p or Bmβ4p might be used as distinct regulatory elements in directing testis-specific gene expression. Identification of these testis-specific promoters not only contributes to a better understanding of testis-specific gene function in insects, but also has potential applications in sterile insect techniques for pest management.

DOI: 10.1111/imb.12144

Cite this paper

@article{Xu2015TransgenicCO, title={Transgenic characterization of two testis-specific promoters in the silkworm, Bombyx mori.}, author={Jijun Xu and H Bi and R B Chen and Abu F.M. Aslam and Zhuo Li and Lu Ling and B F Zeng and Yining Huang and A J Tan}, journal={Insect molecular biology}, year={2015}, volume={24 2}, pages={183-90} }