Protein feeding mediates sex pheromone biosynthesis in an insect

Shiyu Gui, Boaz Yuval, Tobias Engl, Yongyue Lu, Daifeng Cheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Protein feeding is critical for male reproductive success in many insect species. However, how protein affects the reproduction remains largely unknown. Using Bactrocera dorsalis as the study model, we investigated how protein feeding regulated sex pheromone synthesis. We show that protein ingestion is essential for sex pheromone synthesis in male. While protein feeding or deprivation did not affect Bacillus abundance, transcriptome analysis revealed that sarcosine dehydrogenase (Sardh) in protein-fed males regulates the biosynthesis of sex pheromones by increasing glycine and threonine (sex pheromone precursors) contents. RNAi-mediated loss-of-function of Sardh decreases glycine, threonine and sex pheromone contents and results in decreased mating ability in males. The study links male feeding behavior with discrete patterns of gene expression that plays role in sex pheromone synthesis, which in turn translate to successful copulatory behavior of the males.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere83469
JournaleLife
Volume12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

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