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Open AccessArticle

Identification and Functional Analysis of Two Chitin Synthase Genes in the Common Cutworm, Spodoptera litura

by Hai-Zhong Yu 1,2,†, Ning-Yan Li 1,†, Yan-Xin Xie 1, Qin Zhang 1, Ying Wang 1,2 and Zhan-Jun Lu 1,2,*
1
School of Life Sciences, Gannan Normal University, Ganzhou 341000, China
2
National Navel Orange Engineering and Technology Research Center, Gannan Normal University, Ganzhou 341000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Insects 2020, 11(4), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11040253
Received: 12 March 2020 / Revised: 14 April 2020 / Accepted: 14 April 2020 / Published: 17 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Molecular Biology)
Chitin is one the main components of the insect cuticle, and chitin synthase (CHS) is an important enzyme required for chitin formation. CHS has been characterized in various insect species, but the structure and biochemical properties in Spodoptera litura have not been determined. In this study, we identified two CHS genes, SlCHS1 and SlCHS2, which encode proteins with 1565 and 1520 amino acid residues, respectively. Transcriptional analysis suggested that SlCHS1 has a high expression level in the integument whereas SlCHS2 showed the highest expression level in the midgut. During S. litura growth and development, SlCHS1 and SlCHS2 were both predominantly expressed in the fourth-instar larval stage. In addition, the expression of SlCHS1 and SlCHS2 could be induced by 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E). Silencing of SlCHS1 by RNA interference significantly inhibited the pupation and molting of S. litura larvae (RNAi), while knockdown of SlCHS2 had no significant effects on the S. litura phenotype. These results may provide a new molecular target for control of S. litura. View Full-Text
Keywords: chitin synthase; RNA interference; expression patterns; 20-hydroxyecdysone; Spodoptera litura chitin synthase; RNA interference; expression patterns; 20-hydroxyecdysone; Spodoptera litura
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Yu, H.-Z.; Li, N.-Y.; Xie, Y.-X.; Zhang, Q.; Wang, Y.; Lu, Z.-J. Identification and Functional Analysis of Two Chitin Synthase Genes in the Common Cutworm, Spodoptera litura. Insects 2020, 11, 253.

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