Glucose-6-phosphate isomerase (G6PI) and UDP-N-acetylglucosamine pyrophosphorylase (UAP), two key components in the chitin biosynthesis pathway, are critical for insect growth and metamorphosis. In this study, we identified the genes BdG6PI and BdUAP from the oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel). The open reading frames (ORFs) of BdG6PI (1,491 bp) and BdUAP (1,677 bp) encoded 496 and 558 amino acid residues, respectively. Multiple sequence alignments showed that BdG6PI and BdUAP had high amino acid sequence identity with other insect homologues. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis indicated that BdG6PI was mainly expressed in the early stages of third-instar larvae and adults, while significantly higher expression of BdUAP was observed in adults. Both transcripts were expressed highly in the Malpighian tubules, but only slightly in the tracheae. The expression of both BdG6PI and BdUAP was significantly up-regulated by 20-hydroxyecdysone exposure and down-regulated by starvation. Moreover, injection of double-stranded RNAs of BdG6PI and BdUAP into third-instar larvae significantly reduced the corresponding gene expressions. Additionally, silencing of BdUAP resulted in 65% death and abnormal phenotypes of larvae, while silencing of BdG6PI had a slight effect on insect molting. These findings provide some data on the roles of BdG6PI and BdUAP in B. dorsalis and demonstrate the potential role for BdUAP in larval—pupal transition.
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Vol. 108 • No. 5