Int J Biol Sci 2013; 9(9):1004-1012. doi:10.7150/ijbs.6813 This issue
Department of Entomology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, P. R. China
* Both authors contributed equally to this work.
Antimicrobial peptides/proteins (AMPs) are a group of immune proteins that exhibit strong antibiotic properties against numerous infectious bacterial strains. They are evolutionarily conserved and present in every kingdom and phylum, ranging from prokaryotes to humans. We analyzed the transciptome from the larvae of Asian corn borer, Ostrinia furnacalis (Guenée), and identified several putative AMP transcripts, OfgLys5, OfgLys6, OfgLys10, OfgAtt, and OfgIID. OfgLys5, OfgLys6, and OfgLys10 are all highly homologous with c-type lysozymes, and OfgAtt shows significant identities with Lepidoptera attacin. The amino acid sequence of OfgLys5 and OfgLys6 possessed all conserved features critical for fundamental structure and function of c-type lysozyme, including the two catalytic sites, Glu32 and Asp50. OfgAtt is a typical glycine-rich protein. The antimicrobial activity of O. furnacalis hemolymph increased significantly after injection with Escherichia coli, Micrococcus luteus, or Beauveria bassiana. OfgAtt, IDD, and Lys6 are expressed at low level prior to the challenge, but strongly induced against Gram-positive and negative bacteria, and fungi. Under the same inducement conditions, the transcripts of these three genes elevated most when fifth instar larvae were injected. Therefore, O. furnacalis larvae are induced to produce antimicrobial materials in the hemolymph after the infection, and increase of lysozyme and attacin may contribute to the antimicrobial activity.
Keywords: Ostrinia furnacalis Guenée, antimicrobial peptide, Lysozyme, Attacin