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1 March 2009 Identification of Genes Encoding Atypical Odorant-Binding Proteins in Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae)
Peter Armbruster, Sheryl White, John Dzundza, Jacob Crawford, Xiumei Zhao
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Insect odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) are a diverse gene family that encode proteins thought to function as molecular chaperones by binding semiochemicals and transporting them through the aqueous lymph of insect sensilla. Between 66 and 68 genes have been classified as OBPs in both Anopheles gambiae (Giles) and Aedes aegypti L. based on bioninformatics criteria. We have cloned and sequenced from a subtracted cDNA library three OBPs in Aedes albopcitus (Skuse). BLASTP and phylogenetic analysis of deduced amino acid sequences identified a unique putative ortholog in Ae. aegypti for each Ae. albopictus OBP. Comparison of these putative Ae. aegypti orthologs with the results of previous bioinformatics analyses of OBP genes in Ae. aegypti highlight the potential variability of bioinformatics analyses and suggest that the OBP gene family of Culicids is even more diverse than previously described. Alignment of deduced amino acid sequences and phylogenetic analysis identified the N-terminal region of Culicid OBPs that is associated with aedine-specific diversification. Analysis of tissue-specific expression indicates that two of the Ae. albopictus OBPs are expressed both in preadult stages and in the hemolymph of adults, suggesting that the proteins encoded by these genes may be involved in the transport of hydrophobic ligands in the hemolymph. The other Ae. albopictus OBP is expressed exclusively in antennae and leg, suggesting a chemosensory function. These results are discussed within the context of the evolution and functional diversification of OBPs in mosquitoes.

© 2009 Entomological Society of America
Peter Armbruster, Sheryl White, John Dzundza, Jacob Crawford, and Xiumei Zhao "Identification of Genes Encoding Atypical Odorant-Binding Proteins in Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae)," Journal of Medical Entomology 46(2), 271-280, (1 March 2009).
Received: 22 August 2008; Accepted: 1 December 2008; Published: 1 March 2009

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Aedes albopictus
molecular evolution
odorant-binding protein
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