Combining RNA-seq and proteomic profiling to identify seminal fluid proteins in the migratory grasshopper Melanoplus sanguinipes (F).

Bonilla, M., Todd, C.D., Erlandson, M.A., and Andrés, S. (2015). "Combining RNA-seq and proteomic profiling to identify seminal fluid proteins in the migratory grasshopper Melanoplus sanguinipes (F).", BMC Genomics, 16(1: Article number 1096), pp. 1-15. doi : 10.1186/s12864-015-2327-1  Access to full text

Abstract

Background: Seminal fluid proteins control many aspects of fertilization and in turn, they play a key role in post-mating sexual selection and possibly reproductive isolation. Because effective proteome profiling relies on the availability of high-quality DNA reference databases, our knowledge of these proteins is still largely limited to model organisms with ample genetic resources. New advances in sequencing technology allow for the rapid characterization of transcriptomes at low cost. By combining high throughput RNA-seq and shotgun proteomic profiling, we have characterized the seminal fluid proteins secreted by the primary male accessory gland of the migratory grasshopper (Melanoplus sanguinipes), one of the main agricultural pests in central North America. Results: Using RNA sequencing, we characterized the transcripts of ~ 8,100 genes expressed in the long hyaline tubules (LHT) of the accessory glands. Proteomic profiling identified 353 proteins expressed in the long hyaline tubules (LHT). Of special interest are seminal fluid proteins (SFPs), such as EJAC-SP, ACE and prostaglandin synthetases, which are known to regulate female oviposition in insects. Conclusions: Our study provides new insights into the proteomic components of male ejaculate in Orthopterans, and highlights several important patterns. First, the presence of proteins that lack predicted classical secretory tags in accessory gland proteomes is common in male accessory glands. Second, the products of a few highly expressed genes dominate the accessory gland secretions. Third, accessory gland transcriptomes are enriched for novel transcripts. Fourth, there is conservation of SFPs’ functional classes across distantly related taxonomic groups with very different life histories, mating systems and sperm transferring mechanisms. The identified SFPs may serve as targets of future efforts to develop species- specific genetic control strategies.

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