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BmHpo mutation induces smaller body size and late stage larval lethality in the silkworm, Bombyx mori

Xu, Xia, Bi, Hong‐Lun, Zhang, Zhong‐Jie, Yang, Yang, Li, Kai, Huang, Yong‐Ping, Zhang, Yong, He, Lin
Insect science 2018 v.25 no.6 pp. 1006-1016
Bombyx mori, Drosophila, apoptosis, body size, death, genes, insect growth, larvae, mutants, pigments, sequence analysis, signal transduction, silkworms
As a core member of the Hippo signaling pathway, Hpo plays a critical role in regulating growth and development. Previous studies reported that loss of function of Hpo results in increased proliferation, reduced apoptosis and induction of tissue overgrowth in Drosophila. In this study, we used CRISPR/Cas9 (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/Cas9) to study Hpo gene (BmHpo) function in the lepidopteran insect Bombyx mori, known commonly as the silkworm. Sequence analysis of BmHpo revealed an array of deletions in mutants. We found that BmHpo knockout resulted in defects in body size regulation, in developmental defects and pigment accumulation and early death. Our data show that BmHpo is essential for regulation of insect growth and development and that CRISPR/Cas9 technology can serve as a basis for functional analysis of target genes in lepidopteran insects.