New insight into the RNA interference response against cathepsin-L gene in the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum: Molting or gut phenotypes specifically induced by injection or feeding treatments.

Abstract : : RNA interference (RNAi) has been widely and successfully used for gene inactivation in insects, including aphids, where dsRNA administration can be performed either by feeding or microinjection. However, several aspects related to the aphid response to RNAi, as well as the influence of the administration method on tissue response, or the mixed success to observe phenotypes specific to the gene targeted, are still unclear in this insect group. In the present study, we made the first direct comparison of two administration methods (injection or feeding) for delivery of dsRNA targeting the cathepsin-L gene in the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum. In order to maximize the possibility of discovering specific phenotypes, the effect of the treatment was analyzed in single individual aphids at the level of five body compartments: the bacteriocytes, the gut, the embryonic chains, the head and the remaining body carcass. Our analysis revealed that gene expression knockdown effect in each single body compartment was dependent on the administration method used, and allowed us to discover new functions for the cathepsin-L gene in aphids. Injection of cathepsin-L dsRNA was much more effective on carcass and head, inducing body morphology alterations, and suggesting a novel role of this gene in the molting of these insects. Administration by feeding provoked cathepsin-L knockdown in the gut and specific gut epithelial cell alteration, therefore allowing a better characterization of tissue specific role of this gene in aphids.
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Panagiotis Sapountzis, Gabrielle Duport, Séverine Balmand, Karen Gaget, Stéphanie Jaubert-Possamai, et al.. New insight into the RNA interference response against cathepsin-L gene in the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum: Molting or gut phenotypes specifically induced by injection or feeding treatments.. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Elsevier, 2014, to be published. ⟨10.1016/j.ibmb.2014.05.005⟩. ⟨hal-01002574⟩

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