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Immune response and reproductive success are two vital energy-consuming processes in living organisms. However, it is still unclear which process is prioritized when both are required. Therefore, the present study was designed to examine this question arising for one of the world's most destructive agricultural pests, the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria. Transcripts from the ovaries and fat bodies of newly emerged locusts were analyzed, using RNA-seq based transcriptome and qualitative real-time PCR, at 4 h and 6 d after being infected with the gram-positive bacteria Micrococcus luteus. Changes in the main biological pathways involved in reproduction and immunization were analyzed using bioinformatics. After 4 h of infection, 348 and 133 transcripts were up- and down-regulated, respectively, whereas 5699 and 44 transcripts were up- and down-regulated, respectively, at 6 d after infection. Moreover, KEGG analysis indicated that vital pathways related with immunity and reproduction, such as Insulin resistance, FoxO signaling, Lysosome, mTOR signaling, and Toll-like receptor signaling pathways were up-regulated. Among the differentially expressed genes, 22 and 17 were related to immunity and reproduction, respectively. The expression levels of PPO1 and antimicrobial peptide defensin 3 were increased (log2FC = 5.93 and 6.75, respectively), whereas those of VgA and VgB were reduced (log2FC = -17.82 and -18.13, respectively). These results indicated that locust allocate energy and resources to maintain their own survival by increasing immune response when dealing with both immune and reproductive processes. The present study provides the first report of expression levels for genes related with reproduction and immunity in locusts, thereby providing a reference for future studies, as well as theoretical guidance for investigations of locust control.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: PloS one
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Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
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