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Identification and characterization of the catalase gene involved in resistance to thermal stress in Heortia vitessoides using RNA interference

Cheng, Jie, Wang, Chun-Yan, Lyu, Zi-Hao, Chen, Jing-Xiang, Lin, Tong
Journal of thermal biology 2018 v.78 pp. 114-121
Aquilaria sinensis, Heortia vitessoides, RNA interference, abdomen, active sites, adults, amino acids, catalase, copper, death, double-stranded RNA, enzyme activity, fat body, forests, genes, heat tolerance, hydrogen peroxide, larvae, malondialdehyde, messenger RNA, peroxiredoxin, pests, phylogeny, sequence analysis, superoxide dismutase, temperature, thermal stress, transcriptome, zinc
To elucidate the role of catalase (CAT) in Heortia vitessoides Moore, which is one of the most destructive defoliating pests in Aquilaria sinensis (Loureiro) Sprenger forests, a CAT gene (HvCAT) was identified in the transcriptome of adult H. vitessoides. Sequence analyses indicated that HvCAT encodes a protein containing 507 amino acids, including a proximal active site sequence (FXRERIPERVVHAKGXGA), heme-ligand sequence (RLFSYNDTX), heme-binding residues (H73, S112, N146, F151, F159, R352, and Y356), and NADPH-binding residues (P149, H192, Y196, G199, R201, N211, H233, K235, I300, W301, P302, H303, Q442, and L445). A phylogenetic analysis indicated that CAT from lepidopteran species could be assigned to one well-supported cluster. Regarding its stage- and tissue-specific expression profiles, HvCAT was expressed at high levels in fifth-instar larvae, fat body of larvae, and abdomen of adults. Furthermore, when fifth-instar larvae were exposed to thermal stress at 35, 37, and 39 °C, hydrogen peroxide and malondialdehyde content significantly increased. HvCAT mRNA was upregulated when the larvae were exposed to temperatures of 31, 33, 35, 37, and 39 °C. The enzymatic activity of HvCAT was significantly elevated following thermal stress (35 and 37 °C). After the knockdown of HvCAT by double-stranded RNA interference, the expression of thioredoxin peroxidase (Tpx) increased, whereas that of copper zinc superoxide dismutase (Cu/ZnSOD) decreased. Additionally, knocking down HvCAT transcripts in fifth-instar larvae resulted in accelerated death following thermal stress at 35 °C. In summary, the results suggest that HvCAT plays a major role in the thermotolerance of H. vitessoides.