Insects, Vol. 13, Pages 29: Chemosensory Proteins (CSPs) in the Cotton Bollworm Helicoverpa armigera

Insects doi: 10.3390/insects13010029

Aniruddha Agnihotri
Naiyong Liu
Wei Xu

Chemosensory proteins (CSPs) are a family of small, soluble proteins that play a crucial role in transporting odorant and pheromone molecules in the insect chemosensory system. Recent studies reveal that they also function in development, nutrient metabolism and insecticide resistance. In-depth and systematic characterization of previously unknown CSPs will be valuable to investigate more detailed functionalities of this protein family. Here, we identified 27 CSP genes from the genome and transcriptome sequences of cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner). The expression patterns of these genes were studied by using transcriptomic data obtained from different tissues and stages. The results demonstrate that H. armigera CSP genes are not only highly expressed in chemosensory tissues, such as antennae, mouthparts, and tarsi, but also in the salivary glands, cuticle epidermis, and hind gut. HarmCSP6 and 22 were selected as candidate CSPs for expression in Escherichia coli and purification. A new method was developed that significantly increased the HarmCSP6 and 22 expression levels as soluble recombinant proteins for purification. This study advances our understanding of insect CSPs and provides a new approach to highly express recombinant CSPs in E. coli.

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