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TmAtg6 Plays an Important Role in Anti-Microbial Defense Against Listeria monocytogenes in the Mealworm, Tenebrio molitor

1
Department of Applied Biology, Institute of Environmentally-Friendly Agriculture (IEFA), College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 61186, Korea
2
Department of Life Science and Biotechnology, College of Natural Sciences, Soonchunhyang University, Asan City 31538, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(4), 1232; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21041232
Received: 25 October 2019 / Revised: 17 January 2020 / Accepted: 8 February 2020 / Published: 12 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host-Microbe Interaction 2019)
Autophagy-related gene-6 (Beclin-1 in mammals) plays a pivotal role in autophagy and is involved in autophagosome formation and autolysosome maturation. In this study, we identified and characterized the autophagy-related gene-6 from Tenebrio molitor (TmAtg6) and analyzed its functional role in the survival of the insect against infection. The expression of TmAtg6 was studied using qRT-PCR for the assessment of the transcript levels at various developmental stages in the different tissues. The results showed that TmAtg6 was highly expressed at the 6-day-old pupal stage. Tissue-specific expression studies revealed that TmAtg6 was highly expressed in the hemocytes of late larvae. The induction patterns of TmAtg6 in different tissues of T. molitor larvae were analyzed by injecting Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, or Candida albicans. The intracellular Gram-positive bacteria, L. monocytogenes, solely induced the expression of TmAtg6 in hemocytes at 9 h-post-injection, whilst in the fat body and gut, bimodal expression times were observed. RNAi-mediated knockdown of the TmAtg6 transcripts, followed by a challenge with microbes, showed a significant reduction in larval survival rate against L. monocytogenes. Taken together, our results suggest that TmAtg6 plays an essential role in anti-microbial defense against intracellular bacteria. View Full-Text
Keywords: TmAtg6; induction pattern; autophagy; intracellular bacteria; RNAi TmAtg6; induction pattern; autophagy; intracellular bacteria; RNAi
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Edosa, T.T.; Jo, Y.H.; Keshavarz, M.; Park, K.B.; Cho, J.H.; Bae, Y.M.; Kim, B.; Lee, Y.S.; Han, Y.S. TmAtg6 Plays an Important Role in Anti-Microbial Defense Against Listeria monocytogenes in the Mealworm, Tenebrio molitor. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 1232.

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