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Prediction of a peptidome for the western tarnished plant bug Lygus hesperus

Andrew E. Christie, J. Joe Hull, Josh A. Richer, Scott M. Geib, Erica E. Tassone
General and Comparative Endocrinology 2016 v.243 no. pp. 22-38
Crustacea, Lygus hesperus, adults, alfalfa, allatostatin, allatotropin, amino acids, biological control, cotton, crops, diuretic hormone, genome, insect pests, peptide hormones, pest control, prediction, pyrokinin, sequence analysis, strawberries, transcription factors, transcriptomics
Many strategies for controlling insect pests require an understanding of their hormonal signaling agents, peptides being the largest and most diverse single class of these molecules. Lygus hesperus is a pest species of particular concern; it responsible for millions of dollars of damage to cotton, alfalfa and strawberry crops annually. At present, little is known about the peptide hormones of L. hesperus. Here, transcriptomic data for this species were mined for sequences encoding putative peptide precursors; the pre/preprohormones deduced from the identified transcripts were subsequently used to predict mature L. hesperus peptide structures. Fifty-three L. hesperus transcripts encoding peptide precursors were identified, allowing for the prediction of a 119-sequence peptidome for this species, seven of which were amplified from adult L. hesperus heads and sequence verified. The identified peptides included isoforms of allatostatin A, allatostatin B (AST-B), allatostatin C, allatotropin, bursicon, CCHamide, corazonin, crustacean cardioactive peptide, crustacean hyperglycemic hormone/ion transport peptide, diuretic hormone 31, GSEFLamide, insulin-like peptide, myosuppressin, neuroparsin, neuropeptide F, orcokinin, pyrokinin, short neuropeptide F, SIFamide, sulfakinin and tachykinin-related peptide. Of note were several isoforms of AST-B that possess –WX7Wamide carboxyl-termini (where X7 represents seven variable residues) rather than the stereotypical –WX6Wamide (e.g., KWQDMQNPGWamide), an allatotropin ending in –SARGFamide rather than –TARGFamide (GLKNGPLNSARGFamide), a GSEFLamide ending in –GTEFLamide (TVGTEFLamide), several orcokinins with PMDEIDR– rather than NFDEIDR– amino-termini (e.g., PMDEIDRAGFTHFV), and an eight rather 12 amino acid long isoform of SIFamide (PPFNGSIFamide). Collectively, the L. hesperus peptidome predicted here provides a resource for initiating physiological investigations of peptidergic signaling in this species, including studies directed the biological control of this agricultural pest.