Main content area

Mutation of a vitelline membrane protein, BmEP80, is responsible for the silkworm “Ming” lethal egg mutant

Chen, Anli, Gao, Peng, Zhao, Qiaoling, Tang, Shunming, Shen, Xingjia, Zhang, Guozheng, Qiu, Zhiyong, Xia, Dingguo, Huang, Yongping, Xu, Yunmin, He, Ningjia
Gene 2013 v.515 pp. 313-319
Bombyx mori, DNA, RNA, RNA interference, chromosomes, eclosion, eggs, genes, homozygosity, membrane proteins, molecular cloning, moths, mutants, mutation, phenotype, polymerase chain reaction, pupae, silkworms, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, vitelline membrane
The egg stage is an important stage in the silkworm (Bombyx mori) life cycle. Normal silkworm eggs are usually short, elliptical, and laterally flattened, with a sometimes hollowed surface on the lateral side. However, the eggs laid by homozygous recessive “Ming” lethal egg mutants (l-em) lose water and become concaved around 1h, ultimately exhibiting a triangular shape on the egg surfaces. We performed positional cloning, and narrowed down the region containing the gene responsible for the l-em mutant to 360kb on chromosome 10 using 2287 F2 individuals. Using expression analysis and RNA interference, the best l-em candidate gene was shown to be BmEP80. The results of the inverse polymerase chain reaction showed that an ~1.9kb region from the 3′ untranslated region of BmVMP23 to the forepart of BmEP80 was replaced by a >100kb DNA fragment in the l-em mutant. Several eggs laid by the normal moths injected with BmEP80 small interfering RNAs were evidently depressed and exhibited a triangular shape on the surface. The phenotype exhibited was consistent with the eggs laid by the l-em mutant. Moreover, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis showed that the BmEP80 protein was expressed in the ovary from the 9th day of the pupa stage to eclosion in the wild-type silkworm, but was absent in the l-em mutant. These results indicate that BmEP80 is responsible for the l-em mutation.