Global Gene Expression Analysis Reveals Complex Cuticle Organization of the Tribolium Compound Eye.

TitleGlobal Gene Expression Analysis Reveals Complex Cuticle Organization of the Tribolium Compound Eye.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsChen, Q, Sasikala-Appukuttan, AKirshna, Husain, Z, Shrivastava, A, Spain, M, Sendler, ED, Daines, B, Fischer, S, Chen, R, Cook, TA, Friedrich, M
JournalGenome Biol Evol
Date Published2023 Jan 04
KeywordsAnimals, Gene Expression Profiling, Insect Proteins, Phylogeny, RNA Interference, Transcriptome, Tribolium

The red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum is a resource-rich model for genomic and developmental studies. To extend previous studies on Tribolium eye development, we produced transcriptomes for normal-eyed and eye-depleted heads of pupae and adults to identify differentially transcript-enriched (DE) genes in the visual system. Unexpectedly, cuticle-related genes were the largest functional class in the pupal compound eye DE gene population, indicating differential enrichment in three distinct cuticle components: clear lens facet cuticle, highly melanized cuticle of the ocular diaphragm, which surrounds the Tribolium compound eye for internal fortification, and newly identified facet margins of the tanned cuticle, possibly enhancing external fortification. Phylogenetic, linkage, and high-throughput gene knockdown data suggest that most cuticle proteins (CPs) expressed in the Tribolium compound eye stem from the deployment of ancient CP genes. Consistent with this, TcasCPR15, which we identified as the major lens CP gene in Tribolium, is a beetle-specific but pleiotropic paralog of the ancient CPR RR-2 CP gene family. The less abundant yet most likely even more lens-specific TcasCP63 is a member of a sprawling family of noncanonical CP genes, documenting a role of local gene family expansions in the emergence of the Tribolium compound eye CP repertoire. Comparisons with Drosophila and the mosquito Anopheles gambiae reveal a steady turnover of lens-enriched CP genes during insect evolution.

Alternate JournalGenome Biol Evol
PubMed ID36575057
PubMed Central IDPMC9866248
Grant ListP30 EY004068 / EY / NEI NIH HHS / United States
R21 EY031526 / EY / NEI NIH HHS / United States

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