Preprint Article Version 2 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

A Gene Knock-Down Approach in Tribolium castaneum to Study Survival and Priming Towards Bacillus thuringiensis var. tenebrionis

Version 1 : Received: 25 January 2021 / Approved: 26 January 2021 / Online: 26 January 2021 (10:50:41 CET)
Version 2 : Received: 12 April 2021 / Approved: 13 April 2021 / Online: 13 April 2021 (10:29:30 CEST)

How to cite: Lindeza, A.S.; Barth, K.; Kurtz, J.; Zanchi, C. A Gene Knock-Down Approach in Tribolium castaneum to Study Survival and Priming Towards Bacillus thuringiensis var. tenebrionis. Preprints 2021, 2021010531 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202101.0531.v2). Lindeza, A.S.; Barth, K.; Kurtz, J.; Zanchi, C. A Gene Knock-Down Approach in Tribolium castaneum to Study Survival and Priming Towards Bacillus thuringiensis var. tenebrionis. Preprints 2021, 2021010531 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202101.0531.v2).

Abstract

Insects possess an array of defense molecules allowing them to fight infections. They can also show a form of immune memory, named priming. However, the involvement of insect immune defense mechanisms in priming is unclear, since invertebrates lack the molecular machinery present in vertebrates to build an immune memory. In the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum, larvae can be primed via the oral route with Bacillus thurigiensis var. tenebrionids (Btt). This results in changes in the expression of a large number of genes, among which some belong to families of ancient defense genes. In the present work, we tested whether three chosen candidate genes (a Thaumatin, a C-type Lectin and an Osiris-like gene) could be involved in the survival to a Btt exposure, as well as in the priming phenotype. We assessed changes in their expression over time and according to the priming treatment, knocked them down individually by RNA interference (RNAi), and observed how it affected survival upon challenge. The quantification of gene expression patterns in our larvae with RT-qPCR showed that up- and/or down-regulation of the genes, after the priming treatment, was quite volatile and time dependent. Upon knock-down, we did not observe the expected decrease in survival to Btt or the abolishment of the priming phenotype. We conclude that knocking down genes individually is probably insufficient to affect survival and priming in our system. This gives us insight into the complexity of the molecular processes underpinning priming.

Subject Areas

Priming; RNAi; Tribolium castaneum; Host-parasite interaction; Bacillus thuringiensis

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 13 April 2021
Commenter: Ana Sofia Lindeza
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: Image Resolution and one new figure added, that by mistake was not in the original pre print 
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