Engineered expression of the invertebrate-specific scorpion toxin AaHIT reduces adult longevity and female fecundity in the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella

Harvey-Samuel, T. and Xu, X. and Lovett, E. and Dafa'alla, T. and Walker, A. and Norman, V.C. and Carter, R. and Teal, J. and Akilan, L. and Leftwich, P.T. and Reitmayer, C.M. and Siddiqui, H.A. and Alphey, L. (2021) Engineered expression of the invertebrate-specific scorpion toxin AaHIT reduces adult longevity and female fecundity in the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella. Pest Management Science. ISSN 1526-498X

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Previous genetic pest management (GPM) systems in diamondback moth (DBM) have relied on expressing lethal proteins (‘effectors’) that are ‘cell-autonomous’, that is, they do not leave the cell in which they are expressed. To increase the flexibility of future GPM systems in DBM, we aimed to assess the use of a non-cell-autonomous, invertebrate-specific, neurotoxic effector – the scorpion toxin AaHIT. This AaHIT effector was designed to be secreted by expressing cells, potentially leading to effects on distant cells, specifically neuromuscular junctions. RESULTS: Expression of AaHIT caused a ‘shaking/quivering’ phenotype that could be repressed by provision of an antidote (tetracycline): a phenotype consistent with the AaHIT mode-of-action. This effect was more pronounced when AaHIT expression was driven by the Hr5/ie1 promoter (82.44% of males, 65.14% of females) rather than Op/ie2 (57.35% of males, 48.39% of females). Contrary to expectations, the shaking phenotype and observed fitness costs were limited to adults in which they caused severe reductions in mean longevity (−81%) and median female fecundity (−93%). Quantitative polymerase chain reactions of AaHIT expression patterns and analysis of piggyBac-mediated transgene insertion sites suggest that restriction of the observed effects to the adult stages may be due to the influence of the local genomic environment on the tetO-AaHIT transgene. CONCLUSION: We demonstrated the feasibility of using non-cell-autonomous effectors within a GPM context for the first time in Lepidoptera, one of the most economically damaging orders of insects. These findings provide a framework for extending this system to other pest Lepidoptera and to other secreted effectors. © 2021 The Authors. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Pest Management Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1100/1102
Subjects:
ID Code:
153127
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
26 Mar 2021 11:40
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
16 Jun 2021 09:07